CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Lake County Coroner Tom Rudd is dropping his re-election bid after FOX 32 raised questions about the validity of his nominating petitions.
Rudd, who was first elected in 2012 and is a central figure in the suicide investigation into disgraced Fox Lake Police Lieutenant Joseph Gliniewicz, admitted to FOX 32 Monday morning that he failed to follow Illinois election law in gathering his petitions.
"If I made a mistake, I will state that," Rudd said. "I'm a physician, a scientist. I don't know the vagaries of election law. It was an honest mistake."
Rudd was facing an election board hearing on Tuesday after two citizens challenged the validity of his petitions. Rudd tells FOX 32 he paid individuals from North Chicago to gather signatures on his petitions, then signed a sworn affidavit at the bottom of the sheets saying that he had gathered the signatures himself. Rudd said he did not know that is a violation of election law.
FOX 32 also learned that one of the signatures on Rudd's petitions is from a man who died in 2005.
Rudd, who was running as a Democrat, indicated he may now try to run as an independent. But Illinois election law may prohibit that.
Lake County Clerk Carla Wyckoff confirms that Rudd filled out paperwork Monday afternoon formally withdrawing his candidacy.