Madison - St. Clair Record

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Wigginton faces another DUI charge; Former U.S. Attorney arrested Dec. 31 in Edwardsville


By Ann Maher | Jan 9, 2019

General court 08

Former U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton will appear before a Madison County judge next month to face another driving under the influence charge.

He was arrested by Edwardsville police at 10:04 p.m. on Dec. 31 at the intersection of Plummer Drive and Commerce Drive after an officer spotted him swerving across traffic lanes. He was driving a 2017 silver Jeep.

"Subject had a strong breath odor of alcohol and provided inconsistent answers to questions," according to the arresting officer. The police report indicates Wigginton failed a field sobriety test.


He surrendered his license, and bail was set at $3,000. According to a related court document, Wigginton posted $100 bond.

He will face the charge in court at 1 p.m. on Feb. 6.

Wigginton's New Year's Eve arrest comes a year-and-a-half after a driving under the influence charge in Troy, a charge that he first fought and then pleaded guilty to.  

On May 23, 2017, at around 10 p.m., he was stopped near his home in Troy after witnesses alerted police of an erratic driver.

He had driven north on Interstate 55-70, turned right at U.S. Route 40, and lost control. He traveled approximately 100 yards in the grass, then crashed through a fence, the police report indicated.

A damage report showed it wiped out 40 feet of fence and five posts. He drove out of the ditch and back onto Troy Road and then eastbound Route 40, and continued. After turning southbound on Troy Road in the direction of his residence, he was stopped. He refused a breath test then as he did last week.

Illinois appellate prosecutor David Rands was appointed to handle the prosecution, as Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons claimed a conflict of interest since Wigginton had previously worked in the SAO.

Rands has handled more than 100 prosecutions in Madison and St. Clair County over the last decade. A review of cases in St. Clair County shows that Rands bargained down charges of driving under the influence to trivial traffic tickets.

Wigginton was represented by attorney Curtis Dawson of Edwardsville. 

Less than two months after his arrest, Madison County Associate Judge Ronald Slemer held a hearing where he rescinded an order that suspended Wigginton's driver's license.

On that date, while it is not clear whether it was Slemer's signature or another judge's, an order was signed indicating Wigginton complied with terms of an order of supervision that included completing treatment.

On Oct. 13, 2017, a judge ordered the case closed as "defendant has met all requirements of court supervision," though a hand written note at the top of the order indicates "12 months supervision."

"The court has personal knowledge of defendant's compliance, and satisfaction with all terms of court supervision, including completing alcohol treatment pursuant to evaluation, paying all court ordered fines and costs, attending the victim impact panel, and not being charged with violating the laws of this or any other jurisdiction," the judge wrote.

Wigginton served as U.S. attorney in Fairview Heights from 2010 to 2015. He resigned to join the St. Louis firm of Armstrong Teasdale, which he then left in November 2017 to join the Simmons firm in Alton. After three months with Simmons, he left. He currently heads the Wigginton Law Firm in Belleville.

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Organizations in this Story

Simmons Hanly ConroyArmstrong TeasdaleMadison County