Prosecutor dismisses allegation of ethics violation

Andy Kravetz

The county’s top prosecutor on Friday dismissed an attempt by former Peoria Police Officer Troy Parker’s attorney to have him investigated for ethical violations.

"Perhaps Mr. Cooper is fatootsed (sic) that ending Troy Parker’s criminal case has robbed him of some future courtroom moment where he could fist pump the air following a jury verdict rather than receiving a prosecutor’s mere dismissal" said State’s Attorney Kevin Lyons after hearing that Duncan Cooper, Parker’s attorney, had contacted the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission with regards to his tactics in Parker’s case. "Pardon me while I move on to the next case."

Cooper issued a lengthy letter Wednesday regarding facts he believed Lyons ignored or discounted during the 21 months since June 15, 2006, boating accident that left one dead, one seriously injured and Parker out of a job and facing criminal charges. He further maintained Lyons forced his client to resign and give up all claims against the city in return for a dismissal of charges.

Lyons refuted that, and said he only offered to reconsider the case after another of Parker’s attorneys, Thomas Penn Jr., approached him about Parker possibly resigning from the department.

"(Last Friday), Tim Penn called me and said he himself had delivered a resignation of Troy Parker to the Peoria Police (Department) building and had hand-delivered a notice that no employment issues would remain. I confirmed that he did that and, as I said I would, I debated the case over the weekend and determined it good that Parker had left the Police Department." Lyons said.

An attorney with the ARDC said Thursday he could not comment if a complaint had been filed against Lyons. However, he did state Lyons has never been disciplined by the commission since he received his law license in 1981 and is not the subject of a pending public proceeding.

Lyons said he remains dissatisfied with the reports from three experts, two from the defense and one for the state, that said one of the boat’s passengers, Tammy Warnke, was the boat’s operator. Given that, Lyons said, he decided to drop the case.

"I was not, and am not, satisfied with the analysis of the biomechanical reports that assisted with calculations in this case," he said. "Meeting a burden of reasonable doubt in light of these highly-paid-for opinions, and given the death of one, total memory loss of another, and strident silence of the defendant, I chose to have the Parker case dismissed on Monday."

Parker’s 25-foot speedboat slammed almost head-on into a barge moored on the Peoria side of the river, across from Creve Coeur. Passenger Damon Teverbaugh, 43, of Peoria died the day after the crash. Warnke of East Peoria suffered head and lung injuries.

Lyons stated no charges would be filed against Warnke.

"I conclude she was not the driver of the boat, and she now lives with a piece of her own personal hell that comes from her significant and disabling physical and emotional deficits," he said.

Andy Kravetz can be reached at (309) 686-3283 or