Bloomington city officials said Monday an independent investigation into alleged ethics violations by city employee and McLean County clerk candidate Nikita Richards showed no wrongdoing.
The complaint was filed by Bloomington resident Kevin Gerrard. He accused Richards of doing political work and shopping online while on the job.
Bloomington City Manager Tim Gleason said previously an internal investigation showed no wrongdoing, but given the political gravity of the matter, he decided to send the matter to an independent investigator.
“Attorney John Redlingshafer of Mescher Law Office completed the external review last week and determined the complaint to be unfounded,” city spokesperson Nora Dukowitz said in a statement.
Redlingshafer, of Washington, Ill., was paid $190 per hour to conduct the review.
Richards is a Democrat seeking to unseat Republican incumbent Kathy Michael, who remains the subject of an ethics investigation.
Complaints are still pending against Michael with the Appellate Prosecutor and Illinois attorney general alleging Michael used her work provided laptop to conduct her campaign and perhaps destroyed her laptop. Data recovery specialists did find browsing history on the water damaged laptop. A supporter of Michael said Michael mistakenly left the computer out in the rain.
The election is Nov. 6.
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