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 Sunday, May 26, the 146th day of 2013. There are 219 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: The information called for in yesterday's Argus, in relation to thechild abandoned in Moline, by its mother two years ago, was furnished us last evening.The child was found by a Swede and has been kindly cared for. 1888 -- 125 years ago: The annual review and inspection of the Rock Island volunteerfire department took place today, and there will be a firemen's ball tonight. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Captain H.F. Young, former Mississippi river pilot, and T.W.Chapman left Rock Island today for Alaska to enter river service there. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Poppies were blooming today at the headquarters of the Rock Islandunit of the American Legion auxiliary at the Y.M.C.A. as the little red memorial flowers, which the people of Rock Island will wear in honor of veterans. 1963 -- 50 years ago: One hundred and fifty of the best show horses in Illinois and Iowaare expected to compete tomorrow for some $500 in trophies, ribbons and prize money inthe first major horse show of the season. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Moline Public Hospital presented blue ribbons to the winnersof a recent poster contest, held in conjunction with National Hospital Week. Utilizingthe theme of "You're Our Specialty," the following were grand prize winners: MindyBenson, Moline; Thao Dang, Moline; Gared Laux, Moline; John Murphy, Rock Island;Justin Pulford and Bennie Jo Starkey, Moline.