Houston: Leak Of Former Chief's Testimony "Unethical"

Sep 23, 2013

Springfield Mayor Mike Houston
Credit City of Springfield

Mike Houston says the court system doesn't appreciate when cases are "tried in public", and Springfield's mayor suggests "unethical" leaks of sworn testimony to the media are doing that by "coloring the situation".

The situation is the ongoing lawsuit filed by local newspaper columnist Calvin Christian, which claims the city destroyed dozens of documents he was seeking through the Freedom of Information Act.

The mayor insists he had no prior knowledge of any plans to destroy internal affairs files.  But statements by the former police chief suggest his executive assistant, Bill Logan, may have been aware of them.

In a deposition transcript made public last week, former police chief Robert Williams states that Logan was present when former city attorney Mark Cullen and Deputy Police Chief Cliff Buscher discussed destruction of internal affairs documents.

The mayor insists he did not send Logan.  And according to Houston, his second-in-command did not alert him about the file shredding because Logan was only in the room for a short time and missed that part of the conversation.

Houston joined us on Illinois Edition to talk more about the lawsuit the city is fighting, and why he believes other city business should be grabbing headlines instead.