ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz plans to enter a plea deal on charges of stealing from dead people and using the County’s credit card, according to court records.
The Illinois Attorney General has accused Hintz of stealing $14,500 in cash belonging to deceased individuals, taking $2,500 from family members of the dead in exchange for county-funded cremations, and Hintz and his wife were previously accused of stealing $15,818 in government funds.
“The defendant has demonstrated a clear pattern of using the office of the Winnebago County coroner to line his pockets,” Attorney General Kwame Raoul said in 2021. “The defendant’s actions took advantage of grieving families and abused the trust of Winnebago County residents.”
Hintz had previously pleaded not guilty, but he is scheduled to enter a new plea on July 14th.
Since Hintz is an elected official, he cannot be removed from office.
Senate Bill 3460 would have allowed local governments to remove elected officials from office if they have been charged with a crime.
The bill unanimously passed through the Senate in February but was just defeated in the House.
Hintz’s wife, Michelle Hintz, is due in court on July 21st for a deferred prosecution, meant for first-time, non-violent offenders, and could keep a conviction off her record.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been edited for clarification. A previous version made it appear that Hintz would enter a guilty plea on all charges.