A Cordova police officer has been charged with felony intimidation, Illinois State Police reported Wednesday.
"The State Police East Moline investigations office, with the assistance of the Mercer County Sheriff's Department and Viola Police Department, did arrest officer Ray Goossens today," Master Sgt. Chris Endress said.
Mr. Goossens, 54, of Viola, was arrested without incident at his home and transported to the Mercer County Jail, said Master Sergeant Endress. He said Mr. Goossens will be transferred to Rock Island County, the state's attorney's office of which issued the warrant for Mr. Goossens' arrest on the Class 3 felony charge.
If convicted, Mr. Goossens would face 2 to 5 years in prison.
"This is related to an offense conducted while he was on duty as a police officer in Cordova," Master Sgt. Endress said.
Some village trustees said they believe the charges grew out of an incident at Cordova Dragway Park.
Scott Gardner, president of the dragway, said via e-mail, he is saddened by the situation.
"We have had a great working relationship for more than 15 years with the Cordova Police Department," he said. "We have been fully cooperating at the request of the state's attorney's office and with the state police concerning an investigation of Ray Goossens.
"Since this investigation is bigger than myself and Cordova Dragway Park and is still on-going, it would not be prudent for me to make any additonal statements."
Village trustees were not so reticient on talking about the police department and Mr. Goossens, a part-time officer who has been at the center of several controversies in Cordova over the past two years or so.
"I think it (charge) is a validation to the complaints I and others have made," said trustee Pat Fidlar. "It just goes on."
Trustee John Haan said, "I hope this shines some light on some of the closed (village board) sessions that were going on and nobody knew about. We all knew in a roundabout way that stuff was going on.
"Hopefully, this will bring some things to light a little bit."
Trustee Dean Moyer said he is glad to see the ISP doing a "good job checking that out."
Mr. Moyer said the issue allegedly involved police protection provided for the drag strip, but couldn't comment further.
Mayor Bob VanHooreweghe could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Trustee Bruce Wood, who heads the village police committee, also could not be reached for comment.
Today is Tuesday, March 11, the 70th day of 2014. There are 295 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Much damage is being done by hogs that are running at large about town. The marshal will take them up and sell them if their owners do not contain them. 1889 -- 125 years ago: George Newberry, Daniel Strecker, Al Webb and James Dixon returned from a voyage down the Mississippi River as far as Memphis, Tenn., on a flat. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Augustana College was put out of the running for the state collegiate basketball title when defeated by Millikin. The Viking lineup included Sten, Samuelson and Swanbeck, forwards, and Holtgren, Johnson and Berg, guards. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The coronation of Pope Pius XII and preliminary ceremonies were broadcast by WHBF on the Mutual Radio Network. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Reactivation of a portion of the J.I. Case Co, plant in Rock Island as a supplier for component parts for the firm's manufacturing centers at Racine, Wis., or Burlington, Iowa, is under consideration. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Downtown Moline business owners will have a chance to help shape the city's future through a survey being done by the Bi-State Metropolitan Planning Commission.