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 Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.