August 20, 2015

Judge Upholds Kane Co Jail officers arrest

Harry Hitzeman

A judge Thursday upheld the arrest and field testing of the former head of the Kane County Jail accused of driving drunk.

Todd Exline, 46, of Aurora, faces charges of driving under the influence from a June 29 traffic stop in Geneva. Exline, a lieutenant, has been suspended without pay and faces termination.

Judge Allen Anderson said information from a motorist who followed Exline and called 911 to report erratic driving was considered reliable. He said that tip, along with officers smelling alcohol on Exline’s breath, was probable cause to make him perform field sobriety tests.

“The issue to prove the ultimate charge (of DUI) is another day and another time,” Anderson said.

The caller reported Exline driving on the shoulder, into oncoming traffic and “all over the road” as he headed north on Kirk Road.

Batavia Police Officer Erika Stover caught up to him when he was going north on Route 25 from Fabyan Parkway and he was pulled over in Geneva shortly before midnight.

Charles Colburn, a special prosecutor brought in for the case, noted the woman who called 911 stayed on the line with dispatchers until police arrived, and was close enough to provide Exline’s plate number.

The 911 call tape was not played in court.

Defense attorney David Camic argued Stover did not see Exline driving erratically before pulling him over and therefore his statements and field sobriety tests should be inadmissible in court.

Camic argued that Geneva Police Officer Sue Deuchler, who was making her first DUI arrest as the lead officer, didn’t follow proper procedures. For example, for one test, she used a crack in the road as a line instead of a painted stripe on the road, Camic said.

Camic also argued that Deuchler was overeager and Stover wished her “good luck” in making the arrest.

Deuchler said she moved Exline to a flat intersection so he could do that test. “I was not going to have him do them (the tests) on an incline. That is not fair,” she said.

Deuchler also testified that Exline told her he had two beers at 8 p.m. and that he worked for the Kane County Department of Corrections.

If Anderson had thrown out the arrest, it could have bolstered Exline’s bid to keep his job.

The Kane County Sheriff’s Department’s Merit Commission was slated to hear his case this week. But it was pushed back to Oct. 16 because Exline’s attorney, Tim O’Neil, had a medical emergency.

Sheriff Pat Perez is recommending Exline be fired from the department, saying Exline left work early that day and his legal troubles have embarrassed the department.

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