The race for Madison County Treasurer is heating up with calls this week for the current office holder to resign. Republican incumbent Kurt Prenzler says Democrats are trying anything to run him out of office, but his opponent claims Prenzler broke the law during a recent tax sale.
Marleen Suarez says Prenzler conducted an illegal tax sale in February 2013 that benefited a political donor, Republican Don Weber. Weber and his ex-wife own the property in question, although she is the responsible party for taxes. Suarez alleges the tax sale was conducted prior to the scheduled start time, which violated state law. A friend of Weber, attorney James Craney, purchased the delinquent taxes. Prenzler says he was following county tradition of opening the tax sale with single bids, which were separate from the rest of the auction, and was told by an assistant state’s attorney he was not violating the law. State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons issued a statement on the matter and said his office advised Prenzler against the action. Gibbons says he will forward the complaint from Suarez to state and federal prosecutors to decide if charges are warranted. Prenzler says the entire matter is nothing more than a political witch-hunt.