Tazewell County Auditor Shelly Hranka has filed another lawsuit against various governmental peers.
In this one, she accuses Tazewell County Board Chairman David Zimmerman of filing improper mileage claims.
The lawsuit filed Oct. 25 in Tazewell County Circuit Court also lists former Auditor Vicki Grashoff and State's Attorney Stewart Umholtz as defendants.
Hranka claims Zimmerman requested more than $22,000 in reimbursements over an 11-year period for mileage he compiled between county offices in Pekin and his Morton home.
As a countywide elected official, Zimmerman was not entitled to mileage for those trips, the lawsuit contends. It seeks restitution and damages.
The round trip between Pekin and Morton is 32 miles, according to the lawsuit. Reimbursement rate varies by year, per Internal Revenue Service guidelines.
Grashoff, whom Hranka succeeded in 2016, was accused of conspiring with Zimmerman to pay the claims. The auditor reviews mileage vouchers from county employees.
When contacted last week, Grashoff had no comment. Zimmerman had little.
"I believe it's frivolous and not even within her authority," Zimmerman told the Journal Star regarding Hranka and the lawsuit.
Traditionally, County Board members have been paid for mileage they accrue between their homes and meetings and other board business. Their jobs are considered part time.
The board chairman is eligible for full-time retirement benefits, according to the lawsuit.
Last year, Hranka sued the county, Umholtz and Zimmerman. She accused them of stripping her office of statutory duties and failing to provide funds and staffing for her to do her job. That lawsuit is ongoing.
Before Hranka was elected, the board voted to shift some duties Grashoff had been performing, including budget preparation, to the office of the county administrator.
Umholtz was named in both lawsuits because Hranka claims he has a conflict of interest, that he cannot represent one county official against another.
In the mileage lawsuit, Hranka proposes her attorney, Pekin-based Don Birner, be appointed special prosecutor on her behalf.
Multiple messages were left for Birner, with no response.
Hranka, Umholtz and Zimmerman — all Republicans — are running for reelection next year. Grashoff, who was auditor for about 20 years, is a Democrat.
No other candidates have declared interest thus far in running against Umholtz or Zimmerman. Hranka is facing a primary challenge from Brett Grimm, a former County Board member.