The theft and property damage case against a former City Council member’s son won’t go to trial as scheduled later this month.
Instead, Theodore Golden appears to be heading to a Tazewell County specialty court that assesses its clients mental and emotional condition and provides appropriate counseling and therapy.
If Golden, 35, is referred to that alternative to criminal prosecution and meets its requirements, charges that he stole and disposed of sidewalk materials owned by the city likely would be dismissed.
His defense attorney identified that possible alternative in court Friday as the county’s fledgling Veterans Court. Similar to one in Peoria County, it’s available to defendants whose alleged crimes, typically non-violent, may have stemmed from issues related to their past military service.
County Chief Public Defender Luke Taylor declined after Golden’s court hearing to discuss his client’s possible issues or military background.
Golden’s scheduled Jan. 29 trial on felony charges of theft and criminal damage to property was cancelled and replaced with a Feb. 14 hearing in which his specialty court referral will be discussed.
That track switch in the case comes nearly 1 1/2 years after Golden, son of Tim Golden, was arrested outside the home he shared with his father at 2104 Alhambra Court, where city-hired workers were replacing sidewalk.
Tim Golden in July 2016 told a city official by email that the milling, or gravel, being used for the project did not meet required standards and that he “took the liberty” of “under-digging the existing concrete” to correct the error, according to documents the Daily Times obtained through the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.
That tampering “did not rise to the level to warrant an arrest,” a police spokesman said then.
The night of Aug. 3, however, a neighbor watched as Theodore Golden dug up the milling installed that day in preparation for pouring concrete the next, according to a prosecutor’s court affidavit. He dumped the material into a ravine at nearby Sunset Hills Golf Court, where he worked.
When the work crew arrived the next day and began to install new milling, the younger Golden came from his home and told them, “I worked my *** off until 11 p.m. last night removing all of that illegal fill,” the affidavit stated. A police officer at the scene arrested him.
It marked the third time in recent years that Golden’s actions had prompted a police response.
He pleaded guilty in September 2014 to disorderly conduct for confronting, and reportedly attempting to strike, a group of golfers playing in an after-hours event at Sunset Hills, across the street from his home.
In May 2015, Golden berated students and their instructors for shoddy work he claimed they did on a house they constructed as a Pekin Community High School trades class project, according to documents the Daily Times also obtained.
Golden left the house when told the police had been called, and he was not arrested.
Tim Golden did not to seek reelection last year after serving one term on the council.
Follow Michael Smothers at Twitter.com/msmotherspekin