Piatt County Clerk Residency Case Gets New Judge, Attorney Defends Rhoades
The attorney representing the Piatt County Clerk is contesting a claim that the clerk does not intend to live inside the county.
Pat Rhoades' qualification is being challenged by a Monticello attorney who claims Rhoades is living just across the county line in Champaign County. Dan Clifton charges that Rhoades has registered to vote in Champaign County, and that the Piatt County property she said will eventually hold her family's new home has not been developed. Cklifton had earlier alleged that the property is for sale, but he since has backed off that claim.
Rhoades' attorney Deanna Mool says Clifton has not followed the correct legal procedure. "If you want to have an official removed from office, you have to file what's called an in quo warranto action, It's provided in the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure," said Mool. "It lists certain requirements that you have to follow, one being (that) no individual can sue for that unless the state's attorney and the attorney general have declined to do so. So our motion to dismiss is based on those grounds." However, clifton says he studied the situation and concludes that he didn't have to make the filing.
Mool said she will not address Clifton's residency accusations directly until they are presented in court. Rhoades herself has not returned phone calls seeking comment.
On Wednesday, a Piatt County judge removed himself from the case. A judge from Macon County will come to Monticello to hear the complaint, but no date has been set.