Former Rock Island County Sheriff Jeff Boyd is considering making a run for sheriff against the man who replaced him, Gerry Bustos, in the March 20, 2018, primary election.
“I took out petitions, that is accurate,” the 51-year-old Democrat told the Quad-City Times on Wednesday. “I haven’t made up my mind what I’m going to do.”
Boyd confirmed that he picked up election papers from the Rock Island County Clerk’s Office earlier this month and that he is exploring his options.
Nov. 27 is the first day for candidates of established political parties to file nomination papers. The last day to file is Dec. 4. He said, if he decides to run, he will file his petition on Nov. 27.
Boyd, who was elected in 2010, resigned in September 2014 after entering an Alford plea in Rock Island County Circuit Court to a misdemeanor charge of attempted official misconduct, a Class A misdemeanor, and was sentenced to one year of probation.
In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but concedes that the prosecution likely has enough evidence to win a conviction.
Prosecutors from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office accused Boyd of using his position as sheriff to intimidate and threaten a woman he met at DePaepe's gym in Rock Island. He pursued the woman, who is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, over repeated text messages, according to the attorney general’s office.
After the woman asked Boyd to stop and leave her alone, he continued to pursue her, attempting to use his position in public office and as a law enforcement officer to intimidate and harass her, according to the attorney general’s office.
As part of his plea, he also forfeited the pension he earned in his time as sheriff.
Boyd told reporters during a Sept. 12, 2014, news conference in front of the Rock Island County Justice Center: "I am still not convinced that my actions, while improper, constituted a crime.
"That being said, I accept full responsibility for my conduct, regardless of whether or not it was actually a crime."
Bustos was appointed to serve as acting sheriff after Boyd resigned and was elected to a four-year term in November 2014. He announced his bid for re-election in June.
When reached for comment Wednesday, Bustos said, “I am focused on running the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Office and a good campaign of my own.”
The woman involved in the case, Andrea Favela, filed a lawsuit against Boyd, the sheriff’s office and the county in March 2015 in U.S. District Court, Rock Island. A year later, the sheriff’s office was dismissed from the suit.
The suit is still pending against the other defendants as of Wednesday.
Boyd, in court filings submitted by his attorney in the suit, denied that he had a romantic interest in Favela or that he used his position as sheriff to threaten, intimidate or harass her.
When asked why he is considering another run for office, Boyd said, “because I can.”
“That’s a very important thing as an active community leader," he said. "I have the ability to run. I have the ability to change things, and I have proven results.”
He also said, “There’s a whole side to the story that nobody has ever heard, and that story deserves to be told.”
Boyd declined to elaborate Wednesday.
His wife, Ann Boyd, is employed in the advertising department of the Quad-City Times.