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Town of Normal, police officers being sued in connection to officer allegedly stealing $12K

Williams in court

PEORIA (WEEK) --The town of Normal and several Normal Police Department officers, including its chief, are being sued in relation to an officer being accused of stealing $12,000 when responding to a residence for a drug overdose.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in the U.S. Central District court in Peoria by the attorneys representing Lindsey Holzhauer, alleging officer Brian Williams did not have a valid search warrant or consent to search the residence, and "violated her Fourth Amendment right... to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures."

The lawsuit stems from the November 25 incident, when Williams was tasked with checking the well-being of a person who had potentially overdosed. The victim died, but a relative later reported to the NPD that $12,000 was missing from the residence.

Williams allegedly called Holzhauer anonymously to tell her to stop contacting police after learning she had contacted the NPD to report the missing $12,000.

The lawsuit also states NPD officers "conspired and acted together to cover up their misconduct."

The lawsuit alleges a detective with the NPD contacted Holzhauer and told her "it would be in her best interest to keep the complaint within the Normal Police Department and to not involve the ISP."

The case was turned over to the Illinois State Police, which conducted the sting, resulting in Williams arrest.

Chief Rick Bleichner, Tim Edmiaston and Jim Ferguson of the NPD are listed as defendants in the lawsuit.

Holzhauer is also suing for emotional distress in the incident.

She is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Williams pleaded not guilty to all the charges in December.

He is currently on administrative leave and facing charges of official misconduct and theft over $10,000 in McLean County Court after he was arrested in an Illinois State Police sting operation. His bond was set at $30,000 but a judge released Williams on personal recognizance.

A call to the Normal Police Department was not immediately returned Monday morning.

Drew Veskauf

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