While a police officer tipping off a drug dealer about an ongoing investigation certainly sounds illegal, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that it actually is not.
Carmecita Williams, a police dispatcher in suburban Glenwood, was found guilty of official misconduct and sentenced to two years of probation after reportedly contacting the father of her son and telling him police had discovered his drug dealing, the Associated Press reports.
"So I'm not sure what agency, you know -- if there's FBI, DEA or ATF or whatever -- but we just know there's agents in the area," Williams allegedly said in a call authorities recorded on July 12, 1998.
On Friday, the Illinois Supreme Court overturned her conviction, saying Williams' actions were "troublesome," but not official misconduct.
The Associated Press reports:
That's because there was no specific law barring Williams from revealing what she knew about police activity, the court said. It clearly violated the police department's rules, but that wasn't enough.
"The State's evidence that defendant violated those rules is not sufficient to show that defendant performed an act 'forbidden by law' as required to sustain a conviction of official misconduct," Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride wrote in the court's opinion.
In /images.huffingtonpost.com/2010-11-19-1089471.pdf">the court's opinion, the judges emphasized that they did not approve of Williams' conduct, but added that the "circumstances presented by this case do not establish the offense of official misconduct."
In 1998, Williams allegedly alerted Greg Stroud to police activity near his home in South Holland. Stroud was reportedly charged in a cocaine case and linked to drug dealers on Chicago's South Side.