Kane County Coroner Chuck West, who faces misconduct charges that he allowed a television to be taken from the home of a deceased man in 2007, needs a liver transplant and might not be able to stand trial.
"Mr. West has been ill," defense attorney Gary Johnson told Kane County Judge John McAdams in a brief hearing Wednesday.
West, 69, of Elgin, has not been present for his last two court hearings, but is out of the hospital now, Johnson said.
West is suffering from non-alcohol related liver failure and is on medical leave from his post, Johnson said.
"He needs a liver transplant," Johnson added outside of court.
Johnson said he plans to file a motion in coming weeks seeking to have West evaluated by an expert to see if he is physically and mentally able to stand trial.
No trial date has been set, and the next status hearing is May 9.
Johnson said he has not spoken to West, but has talked with West's wife, who is a nurse.
West, who is not seeking re-election in November, was charged in May 2010 with misconduct and theft of a 24-inch television in May 2007 from a dead man's Carpentersville home while acting in his official capacity as coroner.
If convicted, West faces up to five years in prison, but probation also is an option.
He also has been sued by his former second-in-command that he retaliated against her for blowing the whistle on the alleged television theft.
That case is due in court again July 17.