Winchester Sending Laptop to ISP for Analysis in Hoots Misconduct Case

By Benjamin Cox on September 6, 2019 at 8:36am

A case against a former deputy clerk in Scott County may not be over. Barbara Hoots, the former deputy clerk and city collector who was arrested for official misconduct in April 2018 and was accused of taking over $1500 from the City of Winchester is having her case reopened by the Winchester City Council.

The city council voted on Wednesday to send a seized laptop computer to the Illinois State Police or an outside independent agency for analysis, according to a report from the Journal Courier. The statute of limitations on the case does not expire until May next year and the city wanted to have the case looked at again.

In July 2018 a grand jury filed no true bill of indictment and the case was dismissed. State’s Attorney Michael Hill had enlisted the grand jury after Circuit Judge David Cherry had recused himself from the case. Mayor Rex McIntyre told the Journal Courier that he hopes that the independent investigation of the laptop will make the computer usable again for the city in the long run but he also wants it to be fully investigated before the statute of limitations runs out.

Hoots has not returned to work for the city since the charges were filed last year.