The former police chief of Edwardsville is heading to prison for taking money from the city to support a gambling habit. 57 year old James S. Bedell was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in jail for taking money from impound fees for his personal use while he was police chief between July 2009 and September 2012. Bedell must pay $136,800 in restitution as part of the sentence in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis.
Bedell served as Director of Police in Edwardsville from 2007 through October 5, 2012. Authorities say he used cash and money orders from impound fees for video gambling, telling the judge he was "bored and lonely." Bedell was living mostly alone in the area due to his inability to sell a home in the Chicago suburbs where he lived before taking the job in Edwardsville, and living apart from his wife who remained in Naperville. Prosecutors said there was no excuse for law enforcement professionals to disregard their oath of upholding the laws of the communities they are sworn to protect and serve.