Mayor Fires 5 Cops Because They Arrested Drunk Drivers

SandyMalone

The mayor of Mt. Sterling (left) fired officers for enforcing the law.

Mount Sterling, IL – The mayor of Mt. Sterling on Monday ordered the police chief to fire five officers because he thinks the police have been arresting too many people for driving under the influence, and the police chief is pushing back.

Mt. Sterling Police Chief Brandon Norris told Blue Lives Matter that Mayor Matt Bradbury was “overstepping his boundaries because he was upset about a proactive police officer for giving DUIs.”

“The mayor is stuck in the school of thought that we should still give people rides home when we find them drunk," Chief Norris said. "He thinks we shouldn’t give a DUI unless they pile up a vehicle or end up in a ditch.”

“I’ve explained we can’t do that anymore… if we cut them loose and 20 minutes later they get in a car and kill somebody, who is going to be liable?" the chief explained. "It’s going to be me and my department and the officer who had contact with the individual. We can’t just let DUIs go.”

The chief said he had a meeting with Bradbury at 8 am on Monday morning, during which the mayor told Chief Norris the city of Mt. Sterling would not be continuing its 24-hour police coverage.

The mayor ordered Chief Norris to ask for the resignations of one full time police officer, and four additional part time officers.

“Once he told me what his plan was, he told me that if I didn’t carry out his instructions that he would also be asking for my resignation,” Chief Norris told Blue Lives Matter.

But he didn’t follow Bradbury’s orders, and refused to ask for the letters of resignation. He said he sent a letter to the council that explained his position.

“I refused to carry out the order, which I felt was unlawful, on the mayor’s behalf,” the chief said, and vowed to “stand with my officer.”

So the city terminated the employment of 25-year-old Officer Nathan Rauch, along with the four part-time officers, on Tuesday without assistance from the chief

Officer Rauch joined the Mt. Sterling Police Department a year-and-a-half ago from the Astoria police, and has been a true asset to his new department, Chief Norris said.

“Since January 1st, my officer has had seven DUIs with the lowest BAC being a .128 and highest being a .229 BAC,” he said. “One of the individuals had two minor children in the backseat at the time of the arrest.”

“In addition to seven DUIs– Officer Rauch also made two methamphetamine arrests, a possession with stolen firearm with the serial number defaced, two arrests for cannabis, four for drug paraphernalia, five warrant arrests, three suspended drivers, and one revoked driver,” Chief Norris said.

He said Officer Rauch had taken a loaded 9mm handgun off the street, too, after he’d found it in the waistband of a suspect during one of the methamphetamine arrests that was based off a traffic stop.

“Honestly, he is a valuable asset and that’s what my letter to the council stated. I stand behind him because he’s an asset to the department and I’m not going to let him get railroaded this way because somebody thinks he‘s being too proactive,” Chief Norris told Blue Lives Matter.

There hasn’t always been consternation between Bradbury and the chief of police. Chief Norris, who has been the head of the Mt. Sterling Police Department for three years, said that everything was fine for the first eight months after the mayor took office.

“We had a good relationship up until the DUI where his friend got arrested. And then some other people got arrested that were friends of his at an establishment he frequents, and that’s when it got out of control,” the police chief explained.

A source from the Brown County Sheriff’s Office told Blue Lives Matter that a friend of Bradbury’s was arrested for DUI in late January.

Bradbury showed up at the sheriff’s office to bond out a friend he knew from his motorcycle club in what appeared to be a very official capacity, according to the source.

“We have a secure facility with a lobby in the front. They come in through the front and pass [money] through the glass to bond somebody out,” the source explained. “The day that the mayor came in, he came directly into the secure portion of the facility, and identified himself as the mayor, and asked for the person he was there to bond out.”

His friend had been arrested for DUI with a blood alcohol that was over twice the legal limit, the sheriff’s office source said.

Officer Rauch was present as backup for a Brown County deputy during the DUI stop, but he did not make the arrest.

In February, Bradbury met with Chief Norris and told the chief he’d been getting feedback from his friends that some Mt. Sterling officers were being too aggressive with DUI arrests..

“We met two months ago and he expressed his concern and said we needed to put the brakes on the DUI arrests. A month later, we had a more spirited conversation about it outside the police department one day, and he left the conversation upset,” the chief said.

“Then I get called in at 8 am Monday morning and am told this is how it’s going to be,” he said, sounding frustrated. “I’m not going to comply with that. We’re going to fight this. I’m not going to back down.”

Chief Norris said Officer Rauch planned to appeal his termination, and ask for a special city council hearing to be held before the next regularly-scheduled meeting on May 21. If would be difficult for the young officer to go without a paycheck in limbo for that long, he said.

He said that at the meeting, the mayor will have to explain to the city’s aldermen why he terminated Officer Rauch, and the officer would have an opportunity to present his side.

A majority vote of the council would either confirm or override Bradbury’s decision, Chief Norris said.

He said he intended to support Office Rauch’s appeal to the council.

“Not only has the amount of intoxicated driving been reduced, we’re not seeing as many vehicle thefts or as much vandalism,” the chief said. “We aren’t seeing as much of that because they know that if they’re out after dark and Officer Rauch is working, he’s going to be there checking them out.”

The Brown County State’s Attorney, Mark Vincent, said that DUI arrests were higher in the county so far for 2018. He said 17 DUI arrests have been filed with the county clerk’s office.

“I think we had 17 in all of last year so we’re quite ahead of the pace traditionally,” Vincent told Blue Lives Matter. “All I can say is that the arrests that have been made were all pretty strong, decent cases.”

“If the people don’t like the aggressiveness of the policing – that’s more of a policy matter. The police, the city administration, the mayor – they need to agree on that. And clearly there is a disagreement on that. But I can’t fault the arrests," he said.

This isn’t the first time Bradbury has attempted to rule Mt. Sterling with an iron fist.

The mayor, who is a former corrections officer, was first appointed to the position of mayor when the prior mayor resigned suddenly for personal reasons in 2011, according to the Herald-Whig.

Law enforcement sources told Blue Lives Matter that Bradbury submitted his resignation during that administration amidst allegations of misconduct.

Blue Lives Matter reached out to Bradbury for comment but did not receive a response.

WGEM asked Bradbury if it were true that that DUIs were the reason he wanted to downsize the police department.

"I'm not saying it is and I'm not saying it isn't," the mayor replied. "I'll have no further comment.”

Comments (38)
No. 1-38
ShelbyCole
ShelbyCole

0.8 is too lenient it should be 0.3 BAC

nadkram
nadkram

I think you need a new mayor.

awbrown1462
awbrown1462

how many of the arrest where by the Brown County Sheriff’s Office the mayor has no control over them. make a deal with them to come if they can and do the arrest

LEO0301
LEO0301

Power corrupts. I think the officers should have a pretty good law suit against the mayor and city.

BobPrescott
BobPrescott

Litigate! Not wrongful termination, but hostile work environment and retaliation. The msyor thinks he has covered his ass with reducing the shifts and firing all the part time employees before letting the full timer go.

Mikey397
Mikey397

Typical small town moron.

sassmacfru
sassmacfru

Don't worry, at the next city council meeting the truth will come out. Several townspeople are going to be there to tell their side of the harassment one of the officers was doing. Ie pulling second shift workers who were just trying to go home for lic plate lights being out ( when they weren't) or not turning on the turn signal while pulling up to the stop sign. When the townspeople reported this to the chief, nothing was done, so the people went to the mayor.

JBo
JBo

sassmacfru, if there's a problem with "hawking" a stop sign or license plate lights...that's a far cry from drunks driving cars. Drunk drivers are scum.

Pattycake
Pattycake

He looks a few pancakes short of a stack. Fire 'him' instead; perhaps San Francisco would appreciate his libtard attitude.

Swjw121050
Swjw121050

What BS. That former prison guard, now mayor, should be kicked out of office. Only hope the majority of the city council aren’t part of those 18 arrested for DUI. Kudos to Officer Rauch for taking drunk drivers off the street before they kill an innocent family or individual.
Whatever happens I’m sure Chief Norris and Officer Rauch will not have trouble landing another job in law enforcement. They are both a credit to the Mt. Sterling PD and to the law enforcement community.

-----
-----

Sorry, this story is little more complex than this story says. Here is the local news report. 1:32 of this video shows a filmed officer incident is what you should pay attention.
http://www.wgem.com/story/38155782/2018/05/09/mt-sterling-police-officer-fired

Toobs
Toobs

Sounds like a case of entitlement expected by the towns people.

Crescentstar69
Crescentstar69

Small town, small minds. Nothing worse then a self-important small-town politician.

Resa
Resa

Where are the MADD folks??? This action is absurd and the MAYOR needs to go!!

avgjo
avgjo

Let me get this straight,,, The residents are mad that the officer is doing his job? I bet those are the same residents that would complain if someone was killed by a drunk driver. Especially if it was the friend of the mayor.
The easiest way to catch a bad guy is via a minor traffic stop. If you dont want to get stopped, obey the traffic laws. Problem solved.

LEO0301
LEO0301

@----- I read the article and only saw one person complaining about getting a ticket. If the mayor ordered the police department to stop making DUI arrests you should be upset with that decisions, I would think.

Jeek
Jeek

Blue lives matter shouldn’t even be involved with this your cops are upset since somebody told them to do something they didn’t like well that’s life get over it go get a job somewhere else saving people from the terrible drunks out there. There’s a helluva lot more important things out there besides dui’s it’s time people see that AN give the mayor an atta boy for keeping the officers in line. They must follow orders same as civilians

JBo
JBo

Jeek...I can see you've never physically removed dead children from cars hit by drunk drivers or made death notifications that someone's daughter has been killed by a drunk. Try doing that a few years and then come back and tell us to get over it. We do it because that's our job. You don't do it because you're a coward.

retiredNJguy
retiredNJguy

A man is doing his job and a person (also members of the person's family) are complaining. That's it. The woman who complained about the speeding ticket, how fast was she going? Why didn't the reporter ask? As someone above said, small time politicians complain about nonsense. Hope the town council vacates the termination(s).

tfort
tfort

Thus is a terrible article. His firing has nothing to do with DUI’s, do some research and find the real truth.

Jlars
Jlars

It really seems like the mayor is obstructing justice and abusing this office. Both are crimes.

Old Hawg
Old Hawg

Jeek - There are more important things for police to do than DUI enforcement? More important than the lives of the estimated 11,000 + people who are killed by drunk drivers annually? I sure hope none of those 11K dead people are ever someone you care about. Then again, maybe then you'll be singing a different tune.

RETIRED-PO
RETIRED-PO

Just a note...I'm a retired police officer after 28 years. My deepest sympathies to any police officer who works in a department under incompetent and inept administration. The stress is a result of doing the job to our best ability usually means conflict with every facet of the criminal justice system. But in the end if an officer is successful for a job well done everyone benefits whether they know it or not.

rds40
rds40

Probably his friends and family.

psydewinder
psydewinder

2 words; LAW SUIT. With 5 people involved, thats a class action.

MAGAman
MAGAman

Want to know the accuracy of this entire story? You need not look further than the headline. One officer was terminated, not five.

That's not enough? Think about this. Why would the mayor confront the chief and fire a city officer over his "buddy's" DUI arrest, when it was the county that made the arrest nearly 4 months ago? That doesn't follow because it's a false narrative. And it worked so well that this site lapped the story up without so much as a simple fact check on the headline. And so did all of you.

This is a fact-lite hit piece. BlueLivesMatter ought to do better than this.

Olly573
Olly573

Make sure you let the town know how you feel about the mayor. https://www.facebook.com/City-of-Mt-Sterling-Illinois-1592300257472737/

MAGAman
MAGAman

Hey Stan, congrats on drinking the kool-aid along with the rest of these low-info dupes. Ignorance is bliss, eh?

jrfbrown
jrfbrown

I've been watching this for a few days now. While I'm concerned about the direction this whole article takes this information, especially with the comments, I have to say that there is a problem with the reporting of this issue.

I've met the officer in question. I don't know him really well or hang with him or know every aspect of his nature, but I will say that I consider him to be a good man. Honest, caring and of a good nature.

On the other hand Mayor Bradbury is a former LEO, a corrections officer. Why such a disconnect in how the communication has happened? I get that people are talking about his "buddies" getting pulled over.

Maybe it's something from an older age when the LEO's told us to go home and not be out anymore for the night. It's a great thought, but litigation and insurance claims don't allow for that anymore.

I get that people don't like the police looking over their shoulder, pulling them over for that bad turn signal or that license plate lamp. Hell!! That sucks!

Yeah, it sucks that the LEO's pull people over more after it gets dark....Do I think they should station themselves near a bar or continually cruise the bars?

NO!

But do most crimes happen after the sun goes down? Um...Yes!

Now, to put some things in perspective:

1) Mount Sterling has a large distribution center for such a small town. About 2000 people live in the town but I would say hundreds plus are employed from neighboring towns and counties.

2) This kind of influx of people does unfortunately bring a certain level of undesirable activity into the area. I'm not talking about pot or drinking, I'm talking about meth and yes even heroine.

3) Be very clear that heroine is becoming a massive problem for our LEO's in this area. I've been hearing about it for 3 year now from law enforcement around the tri-states and it was ugly when I first heard about it. It's got to be worse now.

As a he has been a long-time LEO, I understand why Mayor Bradbury might feel the need to put his foot down and make a decisive ruling for his town, however as a LEO, I question why he hasn't sat down with his juniors and had a discussion on better ways to enforce the laws and help people feel comfortable.

In the end, I hope that everyone comes to an agreement. I think this is a poor example of how small towns handle their disagreements and I certainly wish the best for the LEO's of Mt' Sterling and Brown County.

John-Brown
John-Brown

If the mayor was a "corrections" officer (jail guard), he wasn't a LEO.

hendog95
hendog95

Jeek....you would be the same citizen to complaint if the officer went and "cooped" all night and was not seen for 8 hours...or maybe you would like that..I didn't hear anything in this article that there was any entrapment or he was "sandbagging" DUI"s. He was obviously working the overnight shift andthe type of arrests he was making are common for the shift he was working and that's why the Mayor suspended the 24 hours service. If you ever worked an overnight shift you would find that the less that "less desirable" citizens are crawling around those hours and sleep during the day. It made no mention he failed to answer his dispatched calls for service. I also commend the Chief of Police for having a backbone and supporting his officer something which is not too common in small town police dept.

hendog95
hendog95

John-Brown
have had many discussion with "Jail Guards" about doing the same job as we do as Police Officers. It's no the same

hendog95
hendog95

it's not the same

jsharp381
jsharp381

Jeek...spoken like a true ASSHAT that has never lost a loved one to the indiscretion of a drunk driver, cleaned up the carnage of the aftermath, of notified the mother of three children that her husband on his way to work his 3rd shift factory job will never return because some POS with your sentiment chose to drive drunk and killed him. DUI enforcement is a vital role of law enforcement to protect the communities they serve. Every drunk driver that is arrested is absolutely as dangerous as a man with a gun to the people driving the same roadway. You are part of the problem rather than a part of the solution. This community should put the mayor on notice that he will be the subject of recall if he really doesn't feel that arresting DUI offenders is protecting society. As for you...Duct tape can't fix stupid! SMH

Pat1978
Pat1978

Rauch sounds like a good officer. If he's making meth and gun arrests in a town of 2,000, they need him there. I think they'll live to regret it. My guess (based purely on the type of officer I think he is and the comments of the citizen in the article posted in the comment above by -----) is that the complaints of harassment are coming from frequent fliers or people operating in a spot that he was keeping an eye on. Just a guess.

RobertDalton
RobertDalton

I was with the Police until the part about how many pot users and paraphernalia busts he has made. You got that much crime in that area you have better things to do than bust for paraphernalia. Use some common sense here folks. Read the list of arrests he has made and then add in all the bad taillights, minor stops and so on. This is a cowboy cop. I don't drink and I'm all for dealing with drunk drivers. I'm all for meth and pharma busts. I have no police record. I'm 71 and pretty darn conservative. But I understand what this is about. A cop has decided he owns the town. And his buddies are his wing men. You don't just enforce laws. You have an obligation to build trust and honor among the citizenry. This is a cowboy cop running his own game. I support honest, hardworking cops. I don't support boss hogg towns whether they are Boss Hogg or Roscoe P. Coltrane. Lighten up.


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