Goetten faces new cost, his lawyer seeks dismissal

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Goetten faces new charge, his lawyer seeks dismissal

Published 2:43 p.m. CST, Monday December 28, 2020

Goetten faces new charges, his lawyer applies for dismissal

JERSEYVILLE – The DUI case against Jersey County Attorney Ben Goetten continues to work its way through the judicial system, with an additional indictment filed on Dec. 21 as Goetten’s attorney moves to dismiss the original indictment.

On October 23, Goetten was charged with DUI and several other traffic offenses.

According to court records, on October 22, 2020, Goetten was driving a Toyota truck near the intersection of Hollow and Lincoln Avenues when it was stopped shortly after 10 p.m. by a Jersey County MP for misusing the lane. The charges were filed the next day.

On November 2, the Illinois Secretary of State Office filed confirmation of the statutory summer suspension.

According to court records, the case was transferred from Judge Eric S. Pistorius to Judge Dwayne Gab in Sangamon County.

On November 6, Assistant Jersey County Attorney Kevin Tellor filed a motion for a special attorney. The public prosecutor’s office cited a conflict of interest, however, as Goetten is a member of the agency’s board of governors and, as a public prosecutor, is a client of the agency. The case was assigned to an attorney with the Illinois Attorney General.

Following a hearing, Gab issued an order lifting the summary suspension on December 7th. The order cited, among other things, the lack of a video about the alleged traffic violation or interruption due to an operating error and the suppression of an emergency call, as these were not reported to the defense lawyers in good time.

On December 16, Goetten’s attorney, Bryce S. Joiner, filed a motion to dismiss the charges based on the December 7th judgment. Five days later, Deputy Attorney General Heidi Epperson replied that there was “no legal basis” for granting the dismissal as the stay hearing was a civil case “independent of any underlying criminal prosecution.”

Court records show no decision on either of the two applications.

Also on December 21, Epperson filed a criminal complaint against Gods for reckless driving, a Class A offense.