A former Lake County coroner indicted by a grand jury on perjury charges bonded out of jail Thursday morning after turning himself in to the authorities.
The charges against Dr. Thomas Rudd, which include five counts of perjury, stem from a one-year investigation brought to law enforcement's attention by "members of the community," officials said.
Rudd clashed publicly with law enforcement in Lake County during his time as coroner.
But those investigators now say he broke the law while running for re-election last year. Police say some of the signatures on his nominating petitions were fake and others were from dead people.
“What we’ve alleged in the indictment is that in each one of five different pages that he alleged he was the circulator and that that was a knowingly false statement,” said special prosecutor Brian Towne.
Rudd withdrew his name from re-election last year after acknowledging mistakes were made with his nominating petitions.
“I think it’s interesting that a candidate that withdrew from a primary almost a year ago got indicted yesterday,” Rudd’s lawyer Jed Stone said.
Detective Christopher Covelli said the investigation was not tied to two recent high-profile cases in the county, including the suicide of now-disgraced officer Joe Gliniewicz.
Rudd also challenged the murder conviction of daycare worker Melissa Calusinski. He said the original autopsy on 16-month-old Ben Kingan was flawed. He changed the cause of death from homicide to undetermined.
“Dr. Rudd is an American hero,” Stone said.
If convicted, Rudd could face two to five years in prison.