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Special prosecutor to investigate allegations of misconduct in public defender’s office

A special prosecutor has been requested to look into alleged misconduct in the public defender’s office.

McLean County State Attorney Jason Chambers made the request for a special prosecutor.

“Due to the unique relationship between our two offices, I felt there would be a conflict of interest, so we decided the safest thing to do was to send the case to a special prosecutor,” Chambers said.

The case is suspected to be related to the recent resignation of public defender Kim Campbell, although Chambers could not comment to confirm who the investigation was related to.

Campbell resigned very suddenly around Aug. 9, much to the surprise of her staff. She was not present at the meeting when her resignation was announced.

In a statement to the Pantagraph, Campbell said, “I have been honored to represent indigent clients in McLean County courts, but it is time for me to move on to new challenges. After 15 years with the county, I would like to take some time to focus on my family and pursue new opportunities.”

Campbell had worked in the public defender’s office since 2010, Chambers said.

She was the top public defender for McLean County, with an annual salary of $150,000. The public defender’s office handles thousands of cases each year — it has handled about 2,000 cases so far this year, including 619 felonies and 633 misdemeanor cases.

Peoria lawyer Jeff Flanagan has taken over as temporary chief public defender in Campbell’s absence.

Following Campbell’s resignation, Bloomington attorney Jane Foster also parted ways with the public defender’s office.

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