Mercer County Treasurer Bertelsen Pleads Not Guilty To Theft Cha - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Mercer County Treasurer Bertelsen Pleads Not Guilty To Theft Charges


Two theft cases against Mercer County's sitting treasurer moved forward in court Thursday.

Mike Bertelsen was arrested earlier this month on charges he stole $13,000 from a county 911 fund.

He was also arrested last year on charges of taking 800 dollars from the County Republican Party.

Bertelsen appeared in court with his attorney Jack Schwartz to enter his plea of not guilty.

It was a brief court hearing and the judge moved Bertelsen's two felony cases against him to Rock Island County saying he understood why the defense asked for a change of venue. Bertelsen is still the county treasurer of Mercer County and any jury there would be drawn from a pool of Mercer County voters. Leading the judge to agree to that change of venue. The defense still has not seen any evidence from the state Appellate Prosecuters office which is handling this case for Mercer County, but the defense believes the state will bring all the evidence once the investigations are finished. It is of course waiting for the forensic audit to be done by the county board.

The next court date for Bertelsen will likely be this fall, but unless the county audit is finished and evidence has been presented to the defense, it will most likely be continued further into the future.

Bertelsen also waived his right to a speedy trial.

His lawyer says they don't want either case to proceed until they've had a chance to look at the evidence.

The prosecution had no further comment on today's hearing.

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