Christian County Jail Administrator back on job despite ongoing investigation

Local News

TAYLORVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Christian County Jail Administrator Cecil Polley was put on paid leave from his position after he allegedly hit an inmate at the jail on August 29th.

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp brought Polley back 10 days later, even though an independent investigation into the incident is still pending nearly two months later.

“The state police conducted an investigation and their investigation is still ongoing,” Kettelkamp told WCIA in a phone conversation Friday. “Now my internal investigation concluded that (Polley) violated a policy, but I put him back to work. He’s been given a written reprimand. And he’s been, he’s back to work.”

The Christian County Sheriff’s office called in the Illinois State Police on August 30th to conduct an investigation into the incident. State police officially gave their reports to the Christian County State’s Attorney’s office on September 23rd. Christian County State’s Attorney Mike Havera immediately handed the investigation over to the Appellate Prosecutor’s office in Springfield to avoid conflict in the case. The Appellate Prosecutor’s investigation is still ongoing.

Kettelkamp confirmed Friday that he has not seen the reports from Illinois State Police investigators, nor has he spoken to the Appellate Prosecutor about the case. He reached out once to the Appellate Prosecutor to request the reports, but didn’t get through and has not followed up.

He said he conducted his own internal investigation while Polley was on leave, which resulted in Polley getting a reprimand on his personnel file. Kettelkamp said the outcome of the independent investigation wouldn’t change his decision to bring Polley back.

“My jail administrator is top notch,” Kettelkamp said. “You can’t find any better people than him, and I’m gonna back him.”

Kettelkamp would not give any additional details about what led to the alleged altercation between Polley and the inmate. He did confirm there is surveillance video, but would not release the video because of the investigation. WCIA submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for the video Friday.

The appellate prosecutor will decide if any charges will be brought against Polley in this case.

Polley took over as Jail Administrator in Christian County two years ago. Before then, he spent over two decades with the Illinois Department of Corrections. He spent time as Warden of the Graham Correctional Center in Hillsboro before joining the Christian County Sheriff’s Office.

Kettelkamp also plans to ask the Christian County Board to approve a raise for Polley. The deputy sheriff at the department abruptly retired, and at the beginning of October, Kettelkamp decided to shift some of the administrative duties from that position to the Polley as the Jail Administrator. Kettelkamp wants those added duties to come with a pay increase.

Polley declined to comment for this story, citing the ongoing investigation.

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