QUINCY (WGEM) — The trial for the former Adams County coroner’s official misconduct case has been postponed as both sides continue to work on a plea deal.
Former coroner James Keller appeared in court on Friday for a status hearing. Neither side could reach a plea deal and the state rescheduled a hearing for April 4, to reach a plea deal or send to trail.
Keller’s attorney Don Heck said that he knows some of the details of a potential plea deal, but would not share them for fear of messing it up for his client.
Keller was charged with official misconduct, a Class 3 felony, on September 28, 2018.
Keller had been investigated by the Illinois Office of the State’s Attorney Appellate Prosecutor for official misconduct and unlawful delivery of controlled substances.
Court documents show that Adams County State’s Attorney Gary Farha requested a special prosecutor to investigate the case on June 21.
“The prosecution of the defendant by the State’s Attorney’s Office could be a conflict of interest for the office, or alternatively, could create the appearance of an impropriety,” stated Farha. “It is in the interest of justice that a Special Prosecutor be appointed to avoid any such appearance.”
Keller had resigned effective July 10, but he had been locked out of all county systems and facilities and handled no official duties as of June 23.
A Class 3 felony can be punishable by two to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections or up to 30 months probation.