LAKE COUNTY, Ill. (WLS) --Former Lake County coroner Dr. Thomas Rudd was indicted on five felony counts of perjury Wednesday, the Lake County Sheriff's Office said.
Police said the charges are the result of a year-long investigation by the Sheriff's Office and Office of Professional Standards. Rudd was indicted by Grand Jury and an arrest warrant was issued. Police said they have been in contact with Rudd's attorney and he will surrender at bond court on Thursday morning.
At an evening press conference, Det. Christopher Covelli said the investigation began after Rudd withdrew from the 2016 primary as he sought re-election as coroner, and citizens came forward with allegations about issues in his nominating petitions.
"In December 2015 a number of Rudd's petitions, nominating petitions had been challenged. Before the hearings could begin, Rudd withdrew from the primary election," said Lake County Undersheriff Raymond Rose.
Special Prosecutor Brian Towne with the Illinois Appellate Prosecutor's Office said the perjury occurred on Nov. 21, 2015, and was related to his general primary petitions and the signatures on them, particularly the circulator signatures. Towne also said that while Rudd later admitted errors and withdrew from the election, the perjury occurred when the petitions were notarized and that Rudd would still be prosecuted.
"These charges are completely unnecessary," said Jed Stone, attorney for Dr. Rudd.
Rose said the investigation began in January 2016 and has continued since that time.
Rudd the first to raise suspicion that Fox Lake Police Lieutenant Joe Gliniewicz killed himself in 2015, instead of being murdered.
"I think he knew there was the possibility of incarceration and his view in the community would be greatly diminished," Rudd said at the time of the investigation.
That led to major conflict with the police officers on the case, and after reading the indictment Rudd's attorney believes this is political payback for some of Rudd's rulings as coroner. But Covelli denied that.
"Today has absolutely nothing to do with anything political whatsoever," he said.