WATSEKA — An elected township road commissioner in Iroquois County pleaded innocent Monday to an official misconduct charge alleging he used his township's tax-exempt status to receive a $1,100 discount on a riding lawnmower he bought for his personal use.
Daniel L. Bauer, 54, of rural Cissna Park, was indicted Feb. 6 by an Iroquois County grand jury for one count of official misconduct, a Class 3 felony.
During Monday's arraignment, Bauer appeared with his attorney, Ronald Boyer of Watseka. The case was assigned to Judge Gordon Lustfeldt, and a pretrial hearing was set for 1:30 p.m. April 30.
Sheriff Derek Hagen said the sheriff's office began investigating Bauer's alleged use of Pigeon Grove Township's tax-exempt status to buy the riding mower after township trustees contacted the sheriff's office in late July 2013.
In September, Hagen said, a search warrant was executed at Bauer's family farm southeast of Cissna Park. Hagen said investigators found a mower on the property matching the one in question.
Bauer allegedly bought the mower in April and saved $1,100 on the purchase price by using the township's tax identification number. Bauer also was not charged any sales tax.
Bauer has served as a road commissioner in Pigeon Grove Township since 1993.