ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Sen. Dave Syverson (R) and Sen. Steve Stadelman (D) have co-filed new legislation that would give local governments the ability to penalize elected officials if they are charged with a crime while in office.
The bill comes in response to the case against Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz, who faces multiple felony theft and misconduct charges.
Members of the Winnebago County Board say, as an elected official, there is limited power as to what they can do to remove Hintz, who is still drawing a taxpayer-funded salary.
The County Board voted to support a resolution that asked Hintz to resign or be placed on administrative leave. Without a decision from Hintz, Winnebago County Board Chairman Joe Chiarelli said the decision was made to deny Hintz access to the government buildings.
In 2020, Hintz and his wife, Michelle, were charged with misusing a county credit card. Prosecutors say the couple spent $15,818 in government funds.
Under the proposed law, a county board could vote to place an elected official on administrative leave if they are charged with a crime.