Kane County Board Chairman: Coroner Should Step Down
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GENEVA, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) – The chairman of the Kane County Board is calling on the county’s embattled coroner to step down, according to a Friday morning report.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Dave Berner reports, board Chairman Karen McConnaughay tells the Daily Herald that Coroner Chuck West can no longer do his job effectively.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Dave Berner reports
This comes a day after one of the coroner’s subordinates accused him of retaliation, claiming that when she alerted authorities, she suffered emotional distress. If true, West’s conduct would be a violation of the Whistleblower’s Act.
A Kane County grand jury indicted West, 68, of Elgin, in May 2010 on five felony counts of official misconduct, alleging he allowed employees under his control to remove a TV from the home of a deceased man.
Now in a lawsuit, Chief Deputy Loren Carrera in her suit alleged West frequently dozed in her office, including at least once with his dog, while also excluding her from office decisions and making threatening remarks to her.
The lawsuit also claims that after West was indicted, he allegedly urinated on Carrera’s office chair in October, and also repeatedly came into her office to doze on the floor while she worked, the suit contends.
He also cut her out of the office’s chain of command and instead directed duty calls to two other deputy coroners – his son, Eric West; and Lisa Gilbert, the suit said.
West, a Republican serving his third term in office, has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges, which could send him to prison for up to five years.
Through his attorney, Gary Johnson, West declined Thursday to comment on the lawsuit, which seeks damages in excess of $50,000.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.