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Judge drops felony charge

WOODSTOCK – A case has been dropped against a former Algonquin police sergeant accused of flashing his badge after he had resigned from the force.

Wade Merritt, 46, had been charged with impersonating a police officer, a felony, but the charge was dropped after his attorneys argued that the indictment was not specific enough.

Defense attorney Tom Loizzo said that the indictment merely mirrored statutory language saying Merritt “knowingly and falsely” represented that he was police officer. He said the indictment did not elaborate on how Merritt allegedly violated the law, whether it was flashing a fake badge, verbally indicating that he was a police officer, or another scenario.

Phil Hiscock, chief of the criminal division for the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, said he was unsure whether the charge would be refiled.

Crystal Lake police have said that Merritt represented himself as a police officer when he was pulled over for allegedly speeding 51 mph in a 35 mph zone. The traffic stop happened New Year’s Day 2010 on Route 14 near Federal Drive.

Merritt resigned from the Algonquin Police Department in June 2009, about a month after he was convicted of domestic battery for hitting his wife.

Merritt was sentenced to one year of conditional discharge for the battery conviction and also had to attend anger counseling.

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