Friedrich Picked For McLean County Board; Opioid Lawsuit To Proceed | WGLT

Friedrich Picked For McLean County Board; Opioid Lawsuit To Proceed

Jul 17, 2019

People in Downs, Heyworth, and LeRoy have a new representative on the McLean County Board.

William Friedrich of rural Heyworth was appointed Tuesday to fill out the rest of Scott Murphy’s term. Murphy resigned last month as he moved out of District 2.

Friedrich plans to run for a full term in 2020.

Friedrich farms corn and soybeans with his father and brother. The Republican is also chair of the Bloomington Township Public Water District, a position he’ll keep even after joining the County Board.

Friedrich said he’s most interested in continuing the county’s progress at the McLean County jail and on mental health issues.

Friedrich greeted his new colleagues Tuesday a bit of humor.

“If you pass me on the street and I don’t wave, that would be my twin brother Bob,” Friedrich said. “I’m not snobby. Bob just doesn’t know ya.”

Friedrich beat out four other applicants for the position. He was recommended by County Board chair John McIntyre.

“We had five very good, qualified candidates. I was able to spend time with them, as we did our reviewing and examination. It’s probably the most input I’ve had from the public in different matters and forums,” McIntyre said.

In other action, the County Board unanimously approved State’s Attorney Don Knapp’s plan to file a lawsuit on the county’s behalf against drugmakers and distributors over the opioid epidemic. 

The lawsuit is expected to be filed within a month in federal court in Ohio. Thousands of other local governments have already sued, looking to recoup some of the costs incurred while fighting opioid abuse. 

Knapp plans to hire outside counsel Melissa Sims to oversee the lawsuit. Sims, who has offices in Chicago and Princeton, would be paid only if the county gets money from an award or settlement—a so-called contingent fee arrangement. Sims would get up to 25% of any amount collected, Knapp said.

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