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Appellate Prosecutor To Review Ethics Complaint Against Clerk

Kathy Michael and Nikita Richards
Ryan Denham
Republican McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael, right, faces a challenge from Democrat Nikita Richards in the Nov. 6 election.

The chief judge in Illinois’ Eleventh Judicial Circuit has approved a special prosecutor to review an ethics complaint filed against McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael.
McLean County State’s Attorney Don Knapp requested the Illinois Appellate Prosecutor’s Office take over the case, citing a conflict of interest.

Prosecutors will review a complaint filed by Sarah Lindenbaum, a supporter of Michael’s Democratic opponent in the November election, Nikita Richards. The complaint alleged Michael did political work on a county computer and deliberated damaged a county laptop to conceal evidence.

The ethics commission voted 3-0 Monday to send the matter to prosecutors for review, indicating the complaint showed a “limited number of instances” where the campaign laws may have been violated.

The panel said it has no jurisdiction in determining whether Michael deliberately damaged any equipment.

The commission has to issue a ruling more than seven days before the Nov. 6 election. There’s no such timetable for an appellate prosecutor’s review.

Richards is also the subject of an ethics complaint accusing her of doing political work and shopping on company time in her job in the City of Bloomington human resources department. The city has said they are seeing an independent review of the matter.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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