As we continue to drown in the Springfield Police file fiasco, there are a ton of unanswered questions.
What else, aside from Dept. Chief Cliff Buscher's file, was destroyed in violation of the local records act? Ultimately who is going to be held accountable for the criminal act? How did Channel 20 get all the documents pertaining to Bushcer if they were destroyed?
Did Mayor Mike Houston know about the file destruction? Did the city try to get permission from the local records commission to destroy documents after having already destroyed the documents?
I feel like I'm swirling at times ...
One aldermen has called for executive session recordings of closed door meetings to be released. Ward 1's Frank Edwards says it will show the city's attorney, Corporate Counsel Mark Cullen, mislead the city's elected officials. And that wouldn't be the first time.
This is going to make for some really intense Council Roundups (Wed. at 10am on Wed.). Even Alderman Sam Cahman is upset that a news outlet got info that Aldermen requested weeks ago!
The surface has just been scratched.
Then there are accusations of civil rights violations with the Street Crimes Unit and a conspiracy to harass case filed in federal court by Calvin Christian.
With investigations ongoing and lawsuits pending, it's only going to get more interesting.
There is a tiny bright spot in this story, though, and that's Lt. Chris Mueller.
|Lt. Chris Mueller|
He's the head of Internal Affairs at Springfield PD that News Channel 20 reported tried many times through email conversations to not comply with the premature destruction of public records. He demanded a second opinion and demanded a direct order from the chief.
I have met Lt. Mueller once before for an interview in my Gun-Free Zone series.
The below interview doesn't have anything to do with the current file shredding fiasco. But it shows that Lt. Mueller is very honest and open, especially in his various positions at SPD.
The content of the documentary is very edgy.
The Gun-Free Zone Series (subscribe here for the latest) is following several things: Illinois getting the right to carry firerarms, the push to restrict or redefine certain weapons and the balance of power between the state and the individual.
Gun-Free Zone Part 4: The Imbalance of Power, was released at the end of April, immediately following the lockdown of Watertown, just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. That was just days after the marathon bombing.
I had originally reached out to Deputy Chief Dennis Arnold for an interview in March or so. He told me to get a hold of Mueller to get more information about what other types of equipment and training police have available. I then arranged for an interview with Lt. Mueller for April 24th. Then Boston happened. That made my interview with Lt. Mueller even more relevant.
Again, I think the above interview, even with the somewhat chilling tones, shows that even being asked tough questions, Lt. Mueller is honest and frank. I hope he doesn't make me eat my words.