Former East St. Louis Michael Baxton, who abruptly resigned as chief on Wednesday, is now going to jail. Thursday, Baxton pleaded guilty to two felony counts in federal court. He pleaded guilty to theft or conversion of government property and making false statements to a federal law enforcement officer.
Baxton was arrested and is free on bond until is sentencing on April 27th. The counts carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison.
Mayor Alvin Park says he was shocked when Baxton resigned Wednesday for "personal reasons". Parks appointed a new police chief and assistant chief on Wednesday afternoon.
Before being rehired on November 30, 2011, Baxton had been chief in East St. Louis from June 2007 to February 2009. He resigned that time too. Baxton had been serving as the Alorton, IL police chief before he was rehired in East St. Louis.