PALATINE, Ill. — Former Kane County Circuit Clerk Thomas Hartwell was found dead Thursday morning at his office in Palatine, according to the sheriff and state’s attorney.
The cause of death for Hartwell, 63, wasn’t mentioned in a joint news release, but a source told WGN News it appears he died by suicide.
In a joint statement, State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser and Sheriff Ron Hain said Palatine police officers found him while doing a well-being check.
Kane County deputies were originally called to his house in Elgin Township around 9:30 a.m. after a family member reported him missing for about 24 hours, according to an updated news release. Deputies then asked Palatine police to check his law office.
“State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser and Sheriff Ron Hain extend their condolences to Mr. Hartwell’s family and friends,” the joint statement read.
No additional comments were released by Mosser or Hain.
Less than a month ago, the state’s attorney’s office announced charges against Hartwell and Robert Gutierrez in an alleged scheme to misuse public funds.
According to a news release from April 26, the state’s attorney’s office said Hartwell was facing 19 felony charges: theft by deception of less than $100,000, seven counts of official misconduct, six counts of wire fraud, money laundering, government employee misapplying funds and three counts of income tax fraud.
He was scheduled to appear in court Friday.
The charges stemmed from a joint investigation by the Illinois State Police and the Illinois Department of Revenue, which started in 2021.
Mosser alleged Hartwell misappropriated about $120,000 of county funds and received a $15,000 kickback from Gutierrez, according to the April news release. The money was allegedly spent to promote a May 2020 event billed as a PPE/care package giveaway, but was instead a political event.
Hartwell also allegedly did not report income on his 2018, 2019 and 2020 taxes and gave false information about his income to his accountant, according to the release.