It’s been more than four months since Mercer County Treasurer Mike Bertelsen was arrested on a Class 3 felony theft charge, but there’s been little activity with his case, and he remains on the job.
Circuit Judge Frank Fuhr gave Bertelsen’s attorney 21 days to file a change of venue motion on Dec. 20. His preliminary hearing was held on Oct. 2.
He was arrested on Aug. 27 and is accused of taking more than $500 from the Republican Central Committee of Mercer County. The allegations do not involve any Mercer County taxpayer funds, but the Mercer County Board has approved conducting a forensic audit to make sure taxpayer funds are being properly handled and all proper accounting protections are in place.
Bertelsen, 53, of Aledo, is in his fifth term as treasurer, most recently being re-elected in 2010.
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An out-of-county State’s Attorney appellate prosecutor has been appointed to avoid any Mercer County conflict. The Illinois State Police is in charge of the investigation. Bertelsen posted 10 percent of his $20,000 bond shortly after his arrest last August.