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Local

Judge to appoint doctor to evaluate Coroner West

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – Because Kane County Coroner Chuck West’s hospitalization prevented him from appearing in court Wednesday, Judge John F. McAdams decided he will appoint a doctor to evaluate West’s physical capability to stand trial.

West, 69, is charged with official misconduct in connection with allowing the TV of a dead man to be kept in an employee’s home. He was indicted in May 2010.

McAdams noted the age of the case and said he would like to resolve it sooner rather than later because his term expires in December.

West’s case has been delayed several times. It switched judges after the death of Jordan Gallagher last year, and it was difficult to find another judge because many Kane County judges were familiar with West. His February court date was canceled because the judge who was assigned to the case than was unavailable.

West, who is in his third term as coroner, has not appeared at recent court dates at the Kane County Justice Center. His attorney, Gary Johnson, said West is hospitalized and awaiting a liver transplant.

Wednesday, McAdams, Johnson and Special Prosecutor Charles Colburn agreed to have West’s physical health evaluated by a court-appointed doctor before the next court date, which they set for 1:30 p.m. June 27.

“I’ll figure out what doctor the chief judge will like us to use,” McAdams said.

If a bona fide doubt is found regarding West’s ability to stand trial, a hearing will be held on the issue, Johnson said.

West is not seeking re-election in November. DuPage County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Rob Russell will face Tao Martinez in the November election.

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