COLLINSVILLE, Ill. – The police chief of an Illinois village have been charged amid accusations he struck a man's chest with his chest during a village board meeting.
Caseyville Police Chief Jose M. Alvarez, 61, is charged with one count of disorderly conduct and one count of battery/makes physical contact.
A spokesperson for Illinois State Police says the incident occurred during the Feb. 19, 2014 meeting. Alvarez is accused of shouting and making threatening gestures. Authorities say he also "stalked about the room." They say he made physical contact with a man at the meeting by bumping his chest against Sgt. Frank Moore's.
"Chest to chest, stepping into someone, bumping, someone puffs their chest and bumps into you," said Moore.
"It's been a difficult time, it's took the morale down it's torn our police department apart, it's been terrible," said Caseyville Mayor Len Black.
On Feb. 12 Black fired Alvarez to "take a different direction" with the city's police department. Alvarez claimed he didn't know he had been fired. The village board then voted to keep Alvarez as chief.
The following week Alvarez appeared at the board meeting during which the incident took place. Black fired Alvarez a second time during that meeting. Alvarez asked a circuit judge for a restraining order. The order was granted and allowed him to remain chief of police.
On Thursday, NewsChannel 5 learned Alvarez has been suspended indefinitely without pay by the village board.
NewsChannel 5 reached out to Alvarez, who referred us to his lawyer. The attorney said the charges are false.
Alvarez has been processed and issued a summons to appear in St. Clair County Court May 21.
A special prosecutor has been requested to review the case.
The village board will hold a special meeting Monday night to discuss the future of Chief Alvarez and the department.