WIUM Tristates Public Radio

McDonough County Sheriff's Deputy on Paid Leave for Nearly a Year

May 1, 2019

The McDonough County Sheriff's Office placed Deputy Justin Lundgren on paid administrative leave on May 30, 2018. Lundgren's annual salary is $58,000.

Tri States Public Radio recently filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking details about Lundgren's ongoing leave from work. 

In response, Sheriff Nick Petitgout said his department has no policy in place regarding administrative leave. He also denied the request for information regarding why Lundgren was placed on leave, citing an “active internal investigation.”

Tri States Public Radio has asked the Illinois Attorney General's Office to review Petitgout's decision to withhold the information.

Prior to being placed on leave, Lundgren ran an unsuccessful campaign for Sheriff in last year's Republican primary. He lost to Nick Petitgout who took over as Sheriff last May.

During the campaign, Tri States Public Radio reported that Lundgren was involved in an estate battle with his siblings that continued past the election. Lundgren was accused of missapropriating funds from his mother's estate. But he said the money transfered from the estate account into his personal bank account went toward caring for his late mother's cats. 

In May of last year, a judge removed Lundgren as executor of his mother’s estate and ordered him to repay nearly $100,000 he had spent from the account.