Centralia police chief resigns amid investigation of city councilman case

CENTRALIA — A late Tuesday press release from the City of Centralia has announced the resignation of Doug Krutsinger as Police Chief, effective September 30.

Chief Doug Krutsinger
Chief Doug Krutsinger

Krutsinger was initially hired in January 2014, after the retirement of long-time chief Larry Evans. Krutsinger had recently retired from the Illinois State Police as a detective when he was hired by the city to replace Evans.

Attempts to reach City Manager Dan Ramey for comment by phone were unsuccessful. In the press release he says he deeply regrets Krutsinger’s decision, but after lengthy conversations with Krutsinger and Mayor Tom Ashby he accepted his resignation, understands his reasoning, and as a friend supports his decision.

According to Mayor Tom Ashby, he was fortunate to have Krutsinger run with him on the slate for council six years ago, and to then have him step up to the role of police chief following Evans’ retirement.

Ashby says the 24-hour commitment of the job, however, was taking its toll, and Krutsinger felt that it was the “right time” to re-retire, so he could spend more time with his family, and enjoy life.

Ashby said he was unaware of a push by the police union to take a no-confidence vote on Krutsinger, or of a possible Attorney General’s investigation into Krutsinger’s actions in a case involving City Councilman Andre Marshall and a murder for hire case.

In July of this year a police report was taken by a Centralia patrol officer regarding an incident nearly 2-years earlier in which City Councilman Andre Marshall was alleged to have threatened to take out a “hit” on another man around Thanksgiving 2014.

After contacting the alleged target of the “hit,” the patrol officer noted that the man wanted things documented for his safety. That had not been done prior to the officer’s report filed in July 2016.

Added to the patrol officer’s report, however, was a second report submitted by Krutsinger saying that the patrol officer’s report came as a surprise to him and that he would try – nearly two years after the fact – to summarize what had transpired.

Krutsinger says that at the request of the Mayor, he “checked out” the incident in question in January or February of 2015, and after speaking with the two people involved he believed there was nothing to substantiate a murder for hire, and that he found there was no reason to turn the case over to the Illinois State Police for further investigation.

Through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request Withers Broadcasting has secured the full report, which among others has been listed as “press excluded.”

We have confirmed the matter has been handed over to the Marion County State’s Attorney’s Office for investigation of a possible conflict of interest, as a police chief’s contract and paycheck are approved by the city council.

A message for Krutsinger at his office was unreturned at the time this article was published.