NORMAL, Ill. — A woman is claiming the Normal Police Department attempted to pressure her into dropping an investigation into a police officer allegedly stealing $12,000 from her family’s home in a federal lawsuit filed Monday.
The lawsuit lists Lindsey Holzhauer as the plaintiff in the case regarding Normal officer Brian Williams, who allegedly stole $12,000 in cash from her home on Nov. 25 after the NPD was notified of a possible overdose. Lindsey’s husband Dustin later died from what officials said was an apparent drug overdose, according to news partner WGLT.
Williams was tasked with checking Dustin’s wellbeing before he was ultimately pronounced deceased at the scene. Holzhauer called the NPD later to report the money missing from inside the home after officers left.
The NPD began a criminal and internal investigation into the alleged theft, and the Illinois State Police eventually got involved as well.
The Town of Normal, Police Chief Rick Bleichner, and officers Tim Edmiaston, Jim Ferguson, and Williams are listed as defendants in the lawsuit.
Holzhauer is suing for “violation of the 4th Amendment and state law claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
Holzhauer told officials she began receiving calls from an unknown number after the incident. She said the person knew where the money was, and in order for it to be returned in full, she must tell law enforcement to drop the investigation. While she was with ISP, Holzhauer received another call from the unknown number that said to meet at a gas station in Pontiac to get the money back.
ISP followed and recorded her during the event, approached the suspect, took him into custody and positively identified him as Williams.
Holzhauer’s Chicago-based attorneys claim when the NPD learned she contacted ISP, a detective told her “it would be in her best interest to keep the complaint within the NPD” and to not involve ISP.
According to the lawsuit, Edmiaston told Holzhauer nobody from the NPD took the money and said he reviewed bodycam footage and “saw nothing suspicious.”
Holzhauer’s attorneys claim Bleichner implied a family member stole the money and not Williams. Ferguson also allegedly “implored” her to drop the ISP investigation, and she additionally said she was concerned about her family’s safety, as well as her own.
Holzhauer is seeking a jury trial for unspecified damages.
Williams pleaded not guilty to all the charges back in December. He was placed on administrative leave after ISP arrested him.