Democratic state Rep. Katie Stuart (Edwardsville) is being tight-lipped about a controversy brewing in her district where a pair of civil DUI cases were dropped against a high-powered attorney who was also allowed to keep his driver’s license while still being prosecuted.
“I don’t know all the facts of the case, so it would be irresponsible for me to comment,” Stuart told Metro East Sun. “It’s not something in my role as a state representative that I’m involved with. I just don’t know much about the case.”
Public records show that former U.S. Attorney Steve Wigginton has faced two DUI charges since 2017, the latest coming after he was collared in Edwardsville on New Year’s Eve. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that police video from the most recent incident shows Wigginton barely able to stand upright as cops administer a field sobriety test.
Earlier this month, Republican members of the Madison County Board called a special Judiciary Committee meeting to demand to know why Wigginton was allowed to retain his driver’s license while still facing charges. According to the News-Democrat, Madison County Circuit Clerk Mark Von Nida, like Wigginton a Democrat, has insisted that politics played no role in the situation, adding that it was “human error” in his office that allowed Wigginton and at least six others similarly charged to slip through the cracks.
Von Nida said the mistake consisted of his office's inability to schedule hearings for the defendants within the required 30-day time limit. While some have called on Von Nida to resign, Stuart again took a much more measured tone.
“That’s not for me to say,” she said. “Again, as a state representative, it’s not something I’m involved in.”
Von Nida told the committee the criminal case against Wigginton is continuing and his next court appearance is scheduled for May 2.