Some headlines from Fred Bathon's political career
* Bathon served as Madison County treasurer from December 1998 to when he retired in December 2009. Before becoming treasurer, he was the county auditor for 10 years, and before that he was the chief deputy auditor for seven years. He also served a stint as treasurer for the city of Madison.
* During the 2006 political season, his son, Jacob Bathon, was charged with battery for allegedly punching a funeral director who refused to put a Bathon political sign in front of a funeral home. As part of a plea agreement, Jacob Bathon had to complete an anger-management class.
* In 2005, he was criticized for spending about $31,500 to send letters to taxpayers, explaining to them that the majority of the property tax bill sent out by his office goes to school districts and other taxing bodies, not county government.
* In 2003, a Granite City woman charged him with battery, claiming Bathon pushed her while Bathon was trying to figure out who hit his daughter's car. Bathon called the allegation a complete fabrication and, at trial, was cleared of the charge.
* In 1999, a grand jury investigated allegations that Bathon, while county auditor, required his employees to pay him political contributions, or so-called "lugs." The panel decided against issuing charges against him. Bathon said the only money collected in his office was for a flower and gift fund. A report from a special prosecutor stated that more than $3,000 was contributed to the fund annually, but there were no records of spending from the account.
* In 1999, the Madison County Board, controlled by fellow Democrats, censured Bathon for using money from the auditor's office to buy thousands of dollars in furniture that he took with him to the treasurer's office.
* In the late 1990s, he had a public feud with other Democratic officeholders on a number of issues, including his desire to have his name printed on county-issued checks. Bathon attributed much of the bickering to his opposition to the appointment of a former County Board member to the auditor's post. The former board member, Jack Frandsen, got his pension increased from about $7,800 annually to about $52,500 annually by serving two years as auditor.
* Bathon suffered the loss of a grandson and a daughter during his tenure as treasurer. His 3-month-old grandson, who was born premature, died in 2004. His 17-year-old daughter, Jessica, died in a freak golf cart accident in July 1999.
Bathon grew up in an orphanage and essentially was raised by a nun.