PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A lengthy battle between Peoria County auditor Jessica Thomas and the county goes before a judge.

Monday’s hearing was focused on the referendum that was voted on earlier this month, where Peoria County voters approved eliminating the auditor position. The issue at hand was the fact that it does not clearly state when the auditor’s duties end.

Thomas’ term ends in 2024 but was informed that her office would no longer be funded beginning December 1st, the date that newly elected officials are sworn-in.

County leadership cited previous legal rulings to support their decision.

Thomas’ attorney filed a preliminary injunction to keep the auditor’s office funded while the case is sorted out. Attorneys for the county said abolishing the auditor position on December 1st is procedurally proper and Thomas has no right to the office.

A Peoria County judge ultimately ruled in Thomas’ favor and granted the preliminary injunction.

“He’s clearly read all the case law on this. He’s prepared. We’re happy with the results, it’s the right result based on the law which is tricky. This is a tricky area,” said Justin Penn, attorney for Jessica Thomas

“She was elected into office and the voters then elected to eliminate the office and we should be respectful of the decision of the voters, and that should be implemented immediately. We believe that the constitution provides that, as well as the case law,” said Lisa Meador, an attorney representing Peoria County.

Meador said they will appeal the decision and it’s now headed to an appellate court, where she believes the case will ultimately be decided.

The two sides will appear in front of a judge again on December 15th. The auditor’s 2022 budget is $112,750.