Former Winnebago County coroner pleads guilty, resigns from office

(WIFR)
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 10:43 AM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Former Winnebago County coroner Bill Hintz pled guilty Wednesday morning to two felony counts and officially resigned from office.

Hintz admitted to theft of governmental supplies or property, a Class 1 felony, and official misconduct of forgery and altering documents, a Class 3 felony. He was sentenced to spend 180 days in county jail and four years probation.

The plea comes two years after Hintz and his wife, Michelle were indicted on 37 felony counts including stealing government funds for personal use.

More charges were filed against Hintz in 2021, alleging he stole around $14,500 from the dead and took money for cremations. After the second round of charges, the Winnebago County Board voted unanimously to put Hintz on paid administrative leave.

Michelle Hintz is scheduled to plea in court on Thursday, July 21.

Hintz’s resignation opens up a vacancy in the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office. Winnebago County Board Chairman Joseph Chiarelli has up to 60 days to appoint a replacement who will serve until the next general election on November 8, 2022. The appointed person must be a member of the Republican Party and otherwise be eligible to serve in that role. A special election will also be held to fill the role, with Democratic and Republican Central Committees nominating a candidate to appear on the November 8 ballot. The individual elected in November will serve in the role of Winnebago County Coroner until November 2024.

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