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Judge will decide whether Peoria County must fund auditor's office past Nov. 30

Tim Shelley
Peoria County Auditor Jessica Thomas reads prepared remarks on her phone before the Peoria County Board's Aug. 11, 2022 meeting, ahead of the board's 15-2 vote to send elimination of her office to a referendum for the second time in four years.

A Peoria County judge is set to decide later this month whether the county must continue funding the auditor's office past Nov. 30.

That deadline was given to auditor Jessica Thomas' attorney by county administrator Scott Sorrel in a letter last Friday. Thomas maintains she should continue to serve the rest of her term, through December 2024.

This comes after voters decided earlier this month to eliminate her office by a 70% to 30% margin. Thomas has filed a separate lawsuit challenging the referendum's language and its filing date.

Judge James Mack said he would issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) after Thomas' attorney filed a verified amended complaint in the civil lawsuit.

In comments from the bench, Mack said the case has been "a mess" up to this point, and he expects it will continue to remain a messy case after he rotates to a new courtroom next month.

A temporary restraining order will maintain the current funding status quo until a preliminary injunction hearing on Nov. 28.

Jessica Thomas is a member of the WCBU Community Advisory Board. That board has no influence or decision-making power over newsroom editorial decisions.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.