By June Conner
For the Star-Gazette
Ernie Bolen of Beardstown told the Beardstown City Council on Tuesday, December 17, that he believes that the Beardstown Police Department, specifically one officer, has used his position to detain, with the threat to arrest Bolen without cause, over personal issues unrelated to police functions. The officer also reportedly told an individual to break into a house owned by Bolen.
Ernie Bolen is one of Beardstown's landlords with over 40 properties. He is also a business owner in Beardstown.
Police Chief Roy Hurst said at Tuesday's meeting that this is personal. Hurst said, "Why don't you just sit down and talk it out?" Bolen agrees that it is personal and believes that he (the officer) is using his position to "bully."
Bolen said, "I have taken this to the Police Commission, Mayor (Steve Patterson), State's Attorney (Matt Mays) and no one will do a thing. I have retained a Springfield attorney and if something isn't done, I intend to file a lawsuit."
The problem stems from when Bolen purchased a property recently and the tenant moved out and left some items. After a number of days, Bolen changed the locks on the property. When the former tenant wanted in, he (tenant) brought the officer with him.
The officer took Bolen away in a squad car and reportedly told the former tenant to break the door down. The tenant admitted the officer told him to do it.
Bolen said, "the former chief told the officer years ago to leave me alone, but when a new chief came, it started again.
Chief (Hurst) said he reprimanded the officer, but he (officer) had no time off and no pay loss.
Bolen stated “I contribute a lot to the community and I don't think I should be treated this way."