Crime

Ex-Madison County assistant public defender faces more charges from attorney general

How an unlicensed lawyer got a job in the Madison County public defender’s office

Madison County Public Defender John Rekowski fired an assistant public defender because she is not an attorney. Kelcie Miller, of Edwardsville, worked in the office from October 2018 until May 2019.
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Madison County Public Defender John Rekowski fired an assistant public defender because she is not an attorney. Kelcie Miller, of Edwardsville, worked in the office from October 2018 until May 2019.

Kelcie Miller, the former Madison County assistant public defender accused of faking her attorney’s license, is facing additional charges brought by the Illinois Attorney General for writing bad checks.

Miller, of Edwardsville, was charged June 26 with writing bad checks in Winnebago County, court documents state. According to The Alton Telegraph, the checks were written to a Rockford apartment rental company that charges rent anywhere from $800 to $900. The exact amount of the monthly checks is unknown.

The indictment charges Miller with deceptive practices and claims the checks were written on July 28, Aug. 1, Sept. 1, Sept. 24 and Oct. 1, 2018, the Telegraph reported. Miller allegedly knew there were insufficient funds in her account to cover the checks.

The charge carries a potential prison term of one to three years in prison.

Miller was fired from her position in the public defender’s office on May 29 after it was discovered she was practicing law without a license. The next day, she was charged with one count of theft over $10,000 of government property, one count of forgery and one count of false impersonation of an attorney.

The theft charge stems from the salary and benefits Miller collected while working in the public defender’s office. As for the forgery charge, Miller is accused of presenting Madison County Public Defender John Rekowski with a fake Illinois Attorney Registration Card that stated she was active and authorized to practice law in the state.

Rekowski has said that he didn’t ask Miller, or any other job candidates over 35 years, to show proof they had passed the bar exam before being hired. He said Miller has failed the bar exam twice.

According to the Telegraph, Rekowski said all but one of the cases Miller worked on involving prison time have been re-negotiated and resulted in the same or nearly the same sentence. All of her former cases have been closed out, but some defendants could not be located.

Hana Muslic has been a public safety reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018, covering everything from crime and courts to accidents, fires and natural disasters. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.
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