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A special investigation into possible wrongdoing by some Madison County government officials has some direction after a judge's ruling. The ruling stems from a number of search warrants executed in the county this year and questions over who can oversee a special task force to investigate public corruption.
According to a report in The Telegraph, in responding to several legal motions, Second Circuit Judge Jerry Crisel ruled this week the Madison County State's Attorney's office should remove itself from prosecuting or investigating other county officials in this case, which would then allow it to provide legal counsel to the county offices in question. However, if any criminal charges were filed against those county officials, private legal counsel would then have to be obtained. The judge called on the Illinois Attorney General's Office to bring in a special prosecutor to oversee the findings of the Madison County Public Corruption Task Force, which was formed by State's Attorney Tom Gibbons earlier this year after discovering possible illegal conduct by county officials. Earlier this year, search warrants were executed at the Madison County Administration building with police seizing computers and files from several offices. No other information has been released regarding what authorities were looking for or what was being alleged against any official.