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WICS 20 :: News - Ready, Set, Shred - READY, SET, SHRED: Williams, Noll Speak After Deposition

READY, SET, SHRED: Williams, Noll Speak After Deposition

This story aired August 27, 2013.

Embattled Springfield police chief Robert Williams spent two hours Tuesday morning answering questions in an attorney's office. The chief testified in a deposition about his part in the police department shredding scandal.

ABC Newschannel 20's Vince DeMentri was the only reporter outside the attorney's office when Williams finished his deposition. This is the first time the chief has spoken publicly since he announced his retirement.

Here's how that conversation went:

VINCE DEMENTRI:
Can you tell us why you abruptly retired?

ROBERT WILLIAMS:
I
didn't abruptly retire. It was a very personal matter between myself
and my wife, and I made a decision to retire as a lot of individuals do
at 50 in the law enforcement profession.

VINCE DEMENTRI:
You
had been quoted in the paper two weeks prior saying you weren't going to
retire. Even come October, you had no plans. But all of a sudden within
those two weeks, it was coincidental with our reports that you decided
to retire? It had nothing to do with the reports?

ROBERT WILLIAMS:
Again, that was a very personal decision between me and my wife. That's basically it.

Vince also asked him, "Do you still stick by your statements that this was done for efficiency's sake? It wasn't done to cover Cliff Buscher?" Williams said, "Mr. DeMentri, you have a nice day."

Vince also talked to Jon Gray Noll, one of the attorneys representing the city in the shredding controversy. Here's what he had to say about the chief's involvement in the shredding of Deputy Chief Cliff Buscher's Internal Affairs file, which was the subject of a Freedom of Information Act request.

VINCE DEMENTRI:
There are people who were involved in this. Can you tell me who the people were?

JON GRAY NOLL:
They were certain individuals who are being deposed right now, who were involved.

VINCE DEMENTRI:
And wouldn't the chief be one of them?

JON GRAY NOLL:
He just got done with a deposition.

VINCE DEMENTRI:
So you're saying that the chief was involved in the willful destruction of those documents?

JON GRAY NOLL:
Well, I think the city of Springfield, of which he was an officer. I would say yes.

Attorney John Myer, whose client Calvin Christian is suing the city over the shredding scandal, refused our request to be interviewed about Williams' deposition.

Click here to see the raw interview with outgoing Chief Robert Williams.
Click here to see the raw interview with attorney Jon Gray Noll. READY, SET, SHRED: Williams, Noll Speak After Deposition

Wednesday, April 23 2014, 10:23 AM CDT

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