State's Attorney voices concern over Baxton's investigations
This undated photo shows Michael Baxton, former police chief of Alorton, Ilinois. He was removed from office on October 17, 2011 after an investigation into a felony conviction in his background. By KMOV Web Producer
(KMOV) -- News 4 filed a sunshine request with the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s office requesting any documentation exchanged between the prosecutor and the city of East St. Louis regarding Michael Baxton. The document provided by Brendan Kelly’s office clearly demonstrates concerns over the appointment of Michael Baxton as the city’s police chief in late 2011. In the letter to East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks Kelly states: “As you can recall, with the agreement of the U.S. Attorney, the St. Clair County Sheriff, the U.S. Marshal, the Illinois State Police, and other local supporting law enforcement, I relayed to you the concerns all shared about Chief Baxton’ s tenure as chief in 2008 and the challenges his appointment could pose to the greater law enforcement community's ongoing commitment to improving public safety in East Saint Louis.” Kelly’s office also outlined potential problems that might occur if Baxton was called to the stand to testify in criminal cases. Kelly pointed out that things being as they are, Baxton's credibility as a witness is limited: “The ability of my office to successfully prosecute cases for which he is a witness is potentially weakened. I am legally bound to review any case in which he is involved with scrutiny which could result in case dismissals -a tragic outcome for justice which we all no doubt wish to avoid."