- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - The chairman of the McLean County Board in central Illinois resigned Tuesday in the wake of his indictment on federal fraud charges.

Republican Matt Sorensen submitted a resignation letter to an executive committee meeting, The Pantagraph in Bloomington reported (https://bit.ly/1P98TgM ).

“I refuse to allow current issues to be a distraction to the employees and elected officials of McLean County,” Sorensen said in the letter. “Current issues require that I refocus my energy and attention.”

An indictment released last week accused Sorensen and a co-defendant of defrauding State Farm of more than $400,000 in unearned consulting fees. The two are accused of billing clients for consulting work that never was done.

Sorensen, 49, is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

He was appointed to fill an unexpired term in February 1994 and won the seat outright that fall. He was first elected chairman in September 2007 and was re-elected in 2008, 2010 and 2012. He served as vice chairman for five years prior to that.

Sorensen’s seat will be filled by a board appointment; his term was set to expire at the start of 2017. Vice Chairman John McIntyre, a Republican, said Tuesday he will seek the board chairmanship.

Paul Segobiano, a Democrat board member said Sorensen served the county well. He asked the public to have consideration for Sorensen’s family as he goes through the legal process.

“We need to … as elected officials continue to guide McLean County in the right direction,” Segobiano told the Pantagraph.

However, Democrat Erik Rankin said he was pleased Sorensen stepped down, saying it was the right thing to do.


Information from: The Pantagraph, https://www.pantagraph.com

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