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posted: 3/1/2013 9:59 AM

New prosecutor sought on ex-cop's battery claims

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Associated Press

MARION, Ill. -- A southern Illinois state's attorney is requesting that a special prosecutor be brought in to review a former police officer's claims of being punched by the police chief.

Williamson County State's Attorney Chuck Garnati asked a court Thursday to appoint an outside prosecutor in the alleged battery last month by Johnston City Police Chief Vernon Campbell.

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Garnati says he's looking to withdraw from the matter because his office's close working relationship with Campbell could pose a conflict of interest if Garnati kept the case.

Timothy Patrick alleges that Campbell hit him during an argument Feb. 9. Patrick says he was fired after reporting the matter to Illinois State Police.

Messages seeking comment were left Friday at Campbell's office and home.

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