Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz and wife charged with forgery, theft

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Winnebago County Coroner William Hintz and his wife Michelle have been charged with forgery and fraudulent use of an official credit card.

According to Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross, in February, 2020, fraudulent information was sent to the Winnebago County Purchasing Department regarding charges made on a county-issued credit card which had been issued to Bill Hintz.

The Winnebago County Sheriff asked the Illinois State Police to conduct the investigation, which led to the Hintz’ arrests on charges of forgery, theft between $10,000 and $100,000, and five counts of official misconduct/conspiracy.

According tot he criminal complaints, the couple allegedly charged the county for a “New York Death Investigation Seminar” Hintz said he attended from Friday, January 31st to Saturday, February 1st.

Several hundred dollars were spent to allegedly rent a room at a Holiday Inn Express in Buffalo, New York, and for car rentals and gas.

Hite Ross said $15,818 of government funds were stolen in the crime.

William Hintz has been charged with Forgery, Official Misconduct, Theft and Conspiracy.

Michelle Hintz has been charged with Unlawful Use of a Credit Card, Theft and Conspiracy.

Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney released the following statement on the news of Hintz’ arrest:

I was angered and saddened at today’s news regarding the Coroner.

Two things need to happen:

First, Mr. Hintz should step down immediately. The taxpayers must be able to trust their representative who serves as the chief law enforcement officer in the county, runs inquests, participates in homicide investigations, and trials.

Second, voters should take back control of the county and vote YES for the county executive referendum in November if they are tired of a broken structure that repeatedly gives them blocked reform, scandals, county board power grabs and politics games.

The community deserves better.

Hintz was running unopposed on the November ballot. Stacey Bixby, of the Rockford Board of Elections, said, “His name is on our ballot and there is nothing at this point because he has only been charged. He has not been convicted. We will not remove his name. The last date to withdraw from the ballot has already passed.”

Hintz was elected in 2016 to replace Sue Fiduccia, who had held the office for more than 20 years.

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