Former candidate for treasurer and circuit clerk working in auditor’s office

Former candidate for treasurer and circuit clerk working in auditor’s office

Nikki Baer, twice a candidate for office in LaSalle County, is now working in the Auditor’s Office. Auditor Jody Wilkinson hired her last week. County Board Chairman Jim Olson says Baer is a union member at the starting wage of $13.75 per hour.

Wilkinson tried to have her previous employees, Pamela Wright and Tori Artman, return to work for her after she won a court order on May 2 allowing her to return. Olson met Wright and Artman at the Etna Rd. courthouse’s east entrance on May 13 and told them they still aren’t allowed in. Wilkinson hired Baer the same day, pending evaluations given new employees, which Olson says Baer passed.

The County Board barred Wilkinson, Wright, and Artman from the office on October 2 after the alleged payroll padding scheme the three women were all eventually charged with came to light. Prosecutors say Wilkinson helped Wright and Artman add overtime to their pay over a period of several months even though they didn’t work overtime.

Judge Eugene Daugherity’s ruling earlier this month says the Board has no authority to stop someone from serving in her capacity as an elected official. Daugherity said he wasn’t ruling on Wright and Artman returning though.

Baer lost races in the Democratic primary for LaSalle County Circuit Clerk in 2016 and in the general election for LaSalle County Treasurer in 2018.