The Winnebago County Coroner’s Office, like the Winnebago County Board, has been controlled by Republicans for decades. Back in September of 2020, when Republican Coroner Bill Hintz (1) was charged with stealing from taxpayers, many on the Winnebago County Board, including Rockton District 2 Member Jim Webster (2), claimed there was nothing they could do. They did nothing, and Coroner Hintz continued to steal (3). He was stealing from dead people’s families as recently as April 2021, six months after the original indictment. Even before the 2020 indictment, there were warning signs. Court records show (4) Hintz had money trouble and had declared bankruptcy years before. County Board leadership should have heeded the warning signs. It wasn’t until their backs were up against a wall, and the Illinois Attorney General filed the additional stealing-from-dead-people-charges, that they finally took action, passing a resolution (5) asking Hintz to resign. When that didn’t work, they managed to lock him out of his office (6) and take away his duties. If they’d done that back in 2020, he would not have had the opportunity to steal from the dead.
Hintz was eventually forced to resign (7) after his conviction on July 20th. Hintz is just the latest in a line of Winnebago County Republicans investigated or indicted for corruption (8) - former Purchasing Director Sally Classen and former Chairman Scott Christiansen. Voters need to ask themselves - isn’t it time to end one party control of the Coroner’s Office? The Coroner controls a million dollar budget. It’s an independent office. That’s why it was so hard for the County Board to stop Hintz from performing his duties. So little oversight increases the need for a new set of eyes over the office, a new set of eyes independent of the old guard. The Republican nominee for Coroner was appointed to fill the vacancy by the Republicans who claimed there was nothing they could do while Hintz continued to steal. That’s not what the taxpayers of Winnebago County need. That’s not what we deserve. We deserve someone we can trust to be an independent pair of eyes on the inside. As a funeral director and former alderman, Democratic nominee Tony Gasparini has the experience needed to manage the office and the independence needed to guarantee that any other issues in the office will be brought to light. We urge the people of Winnebago County to support Tony Gasparini for Winnebago County Coroner. Find more info about Tony or make a donation at GaspariniforCoroner.com.