Crime

Is the woman accused of posing as an attorney mentally ill? Her lawyer wants to know

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.

A woman who allegedly masqueraded as an attorney while working for the Madison County Public Defender’s Office may be undergoing a psychological exam in the near future.

Kelcie Miller, 26, of Edwardsville, was fired in May and charged with three felonies after she worked in the office as an assistant on many cases without a law license.

Miller’s defense attorney Scott R.M. Ealy filed a motion Wednesday asking the court for a mental exam of the defendant. The Alton Telegraph reported Wednesday that Ealy requested the exam to determine if Miller is suffering from a mental illness and is “able to understand the nature and purpose of the proceeding against her.”

The exam would also determine if Miller can assist in her own defense. As of Thursday, prosecutors had not responded to the claim.

Miller has been charged with one count of theft of over $10,000 of government property, one count of false impersonation of an attorney and one count of forgery, Madison County court records indicate. She was arrested May 29.

According to the charging documents, 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.

At the time, Rekowski said that he didn’t ask Miller, or any other job candidates over 35 years, to show proof that they passed the bar exam before hiring them. Miller failed the bar exam twice, according to Rekowski.

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said in a statement that the allegations in Miller’s case were “some of the most unusual I’ve ever seen in over 20 years practicing law.”

Since her arrest, new charges have been brought against Miller. In June, she was charged with writing bad checks in Winnebago County after she allegedly wrote checks to an apartment rental company in Rockford and she knew they wouldn’t clear.

Due to the charges brought against Miller, eight Illinois inmates were recently offered an opportunity to renegotiate their prison sentences or keep the plea deals that had been negotiated by Miller while she was a public defender. All but one decided to keep the deals they had.

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Kavahn Mansouri covers government accountability for the Belleville News-Democrat, holding officials and institutions accountable and tracking how taxpayer money is spent.
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