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, July 22, the 203rd day of 2014. There are 162 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Everybody is invited to go on a moonlight excursion next Monday evening on the steamer New Boston. The trip will be from Davenport to Muscatine and back. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The mayor and bridge committee let a contract to the Clinton Bridge company for a $1,125 iron bridge across Sears canal near Milan. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Injunction proceedings to compel the Central Association to keep a baseball team in Rock Island for the remainder of the season were contemplated by some of the Rock Island fans, but they decided to defer action. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The first of the new and more powerful diesel engines built for the Rock Island Lines for the proposed Chicago-Denver run, passed thru the Tri-Cities this morning. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island Rescue Mission is negotiating for the purchase of the Prince Hall Masonic Home located at 37th Avenue and 5th Street, Rock Island. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Quad Cities Container Terminal is being lauded as a giant business boon that will save several days and hundreds of dollars on each goods shipment to the coasts. The Quad Cities Container Terminal is the final piece of the puzzle that opens up increase access to world markets, Robert Goldstein said.