Residency of Piatt County Clerk at Issue in Lawsuit
An attorney in Piatt County has filed a lawsuit to remove the current county clerk one month before Election Day.
Dan Clifton is an assistant deputy state's attorney in Champaign County - he contends that Republican Piatt County Clerk Pat Rhoades doesn't qualify to serve because her family moved to a house just over the Piatt County line last year. Clifton says a Piatt County judge is scheduled to hear his complaint Wednesday morning.
"What I'm hoping the court will be able to do is look at the facts of the situation, which are fairly simple, and look at the law, and declare whether or not she is still an inhabitant or whether she ceased to be an inhabitant.," Clifton said. "If she ceased to be an inhabitant, then I'm asking the court to declare the office vacant." If that happens, Rhoades' chief deputy would step in until the county board appoints a replacement to fill out the term.
Rhodes has not returned a phone call seeking comment. She has told the county board that she has been living in Champaign County temporarily while she and her family build a house in Piatt County. But in his suit Clifton claims that Rhoades has a registered as a voter - and voted - in Champaign County, and the property where the house was to be built is now for sale.