Peoria County Auditor’s Office may be no more

Decision 2022 Coverage
Decision 2022 Coverage(KTIV)
Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 11:04 PM CST
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PEORIA COUNTY (25 News Now) - The Peoria County Auditor’s office appears to be no more, as voters chose Tuesday to eliminate the position.

The Auditor’s Office makes sure the budget is spent as specified, but it does not decide how the money is spent. Voters narrowly voted to keep the office as an elected position in 2018, by just 19 votes.

The question comes after years of disputes between the Peoria County Board and current Peoria County Auditor Jessica Thomas. Thomas sued over the language on the ballot, which said the elimination of the office would save the county $150,000 a year.

Thomas says the office is a vital check on how the county spends its money, while the board says the office has become redundant, since there is already a separate, external audit.

Thomas released the following statement Tuesday night:

“Thank you to everyone who participated in the electoral process today. Your right to elect an auditor, which is provided for in state statute, is what this fight has been about. The battle for your right is not over.”

Disputes over the office have been ongoing since the narrow 2018 referendum. The board and state’s attorney accused Thomas of improper spending and have cut the office’s staff down to one. Thomas sued over that too, saying the board wouldn’t let her do her job.