(VanBrooker headshot via McDonough County Sheriff website)
Allegations surfaced Monday that McDonough County Sheriff Rick VanBrooker and Chief Deputy Nick Petitgout engaged in misconduct in April 2017. The incident in question involves a call about a suspicious driver, which allegedly was VanBrooker, and possible interference in the handling of that situation from Petitgout.
The initial allegations came from an annonymous letter penned to the McDonough County Board. In this letter, it stated that "your Sheriff and Chief Deputy and possibly other top Sheriff Officers were involved in a major cover up."
The letter goes on to mention an alleged incident where a 911 call came into a local dispatcher. The caller "reported a dangerous driver and reported Mr. VanBrooker as driving drunk."
The annonymous tipster goes on to say that Petitgout "called the dispatchers and demanded that they not follow policy and stop transmitting van broker’s information and vehicle to officers to send help."
This letter prompted former McDonough County Chief Prosecutor James Hoyle to post more details about the allegations on his personal Facebook account.
Following the post by Hoyle, alleged audio of the 911 call was released on Soundcloud. The audio appears to back up the claims made in the letter, and further detailed by Hoyle.
VanBrooker did not respond Monday, as he could not review the audio since he was at a Sheriff's conference in Peoria. Petitgout also chose not to respond, awaiting VanBrooker's response.
Petitgout told Tri-States Public Radio, “I can’t comment on it until he [VanBrooker] does. That’s part of our policy.”