Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz locked out of office

State News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz has been locked out of the Coroner’s Office and denied access to government buildings, according to the County Board chairman.

Chairman Joseph Chiarelli said Tuesday the move was a collaboration between him and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office and the State’s Attorney’s Office.

“It is my duty to protect the integrity of the office and the employees of the coroner’s office,” Chiarelli said. “As well as the citizens of Winnebago County, and to protect all citizens while the criminal case is pending.”

The County Board voted to support a resolution that asked Hintz to resign or be placed on administrative leave. Without a decision from Hintz, Chiarelli said the decision was made to deny Hintz access to the government buildings.

“The criminal allegations against Mr. Hintz are in no way a reflection on any of the other employees that remain in that office. I’m committed to assisting with the leadership needs of the Coroner’s Office for as long as it takes for criminal cases against Mr. Hintz to be resolved,” said Sheriff Caruana.

The Illinois Attorney General has accused Hintz of stealing $14,500 in cash belonging to deceased individuals, taking $2,500 from family members of the dead in exchange for county-funded cremations, and Hintz and his wife were previously accused of stealing $15,818 in government funds.

Hintz has pleaded not guilty to the charges of theft, forgery, and official misconduct and is due back in court on Sept. 22 in both cases.

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