Kane County Coroner Chuck West recently had a liver transplant and officials are hopeful he will make a recovery so he can stand trial on misconduct charges, his attorney said Wednesday.
Defense attorney Gary Johnson couldn't specify exactly when the 69-year-old West received the transplant, but said the Elgin resident was in the intensive care unit at the University of Illinois-Chicago Medical Center and his prognosis for a recovery was "guarded."
West faces felony misconduct charges that he allowed a television to be stolen from the home of a dead Carpentersville man.
If convicted, he faces anywhere from probation to five years in prison.
A trial date has not been set for West, who needed the transplant after suffering from nonalcoholic cirrhosis.
West was not in Kane County court Wednesday where Judge John McAdams was to appoint a doctor to evaluate whether West was physically fit to stand trial.
Usually, a defendant's fitness for trial has to do with mental issues, said Charles Colburn, a prosecutor from the Illinois Appellate Prosecutor's Office assigned to the case.
McAdams said he had called at least seven doctors but could not find a physician to give an opinion. McAdams said doctors at the UIC hospital were hesitant to do it because he is a patient there and doctors from other sites didn't want to because West was not staying at their facility.
Now that West has received the transplant, that point could become moot.
"His situation has changed. In a month, he could be clearly on his way to recovery," Johnson said. "Time will tell on that."
Both sides are due in court again on Aug. 2.