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 Friday, Dec. 6, the 340th day of 2013. There are 25 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: The street crossings on Washington and Jefferson are to be taken up immediately and underlaid with sand to raise above the level of the roadway before it freezes. 1888 -- 125 years ago: J.O. Bean, father of W.H. Bean, grocer, was accidentally thrown from his wagon near the Rock Island bridge on the Arsenal and received severe cuts and bruises on his face and body. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Sgt. Birger F. Westergard, of the United States Marine Corps, has arrived in Rock Island to take charge of the local recruiting office. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Five cases of diphtheria at Lincoln School prompt the city physician, Dr. Edward DeSilva, to urge parents to have their children immunized, as he fears epidemic. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Rock Island Arsenal will have its own newspaper with the first edition scheduled to be published Friday, Dec. 13. The paper, which will carry advertising, will be published by Bawden Bros. Inc. of Davenport. 1988 -- 25 years ago: The New Year should ring a better Quad-Cities economy, according to a survey of people in business made by First National Bank of Moline. "Based on our survey, we see a bright outlook for 1989," said Richard M. Bishop, the bank's president.