Update 12:30 p.m. Former Evanston Township Assessor Sharon Eckersall was found dead this morning in her home at 2519 Ashland Ave.
Eckersall, 69, had lost the job four years ago to Bonnie Wilson, but ran unopposed and was re-elected in April after Wilson decided not to try to retain the job. Eckersall was scheduled to resume the assessor’s job at the end of the year.
Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott says firefighters went to the home about 8:30 a.m. in response to a call about an unresponsive female found in bed.
He says police were notified after firefighters determened that Eckersall had died.
Parrott says that investigators have found no apparent indications of foul play, but that Eckersall’s body will be sent for a post-mortem examination to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Eckersall also was a real estate agent with the Coldwell Banker office on Central Street. She ran an unsuccessful race for Cook County Assessor in 2010 as a Republican, coming in third of our candidates for the job.
Her 12-year tenure in the township assessor’s office was stormy, with three employees of the tiny office filing wrongful dismissal suits. The suits, although ultimately unsuccessful, cost taxpayers substantial sums to defend.
That and other issues made her a frequent target of criticism from some members of the township board, who also serve as Evanston’s aldermen.
Update 2:02 p.m.: City Attorney Grant Farrar says he’s researching the relevant state statutes and hopes to have information on the process to select a new township assessor by tomorrow.
A new law adopted by the legislature and recently signed by Gov. Quinn gives the City Council the power to ask voters in a binding referendum next spring whether they want to abolish the township — a concept that the voters favored by a 2-to-1 margin an an advisory referendum last year.
Original story 11:44 a.m.: Evanston police report a woman was found dead in a home at 2519 Ashland Ave. this morning.
The home is owned by Sharon Eckersall, who is scheduled to reassume the office of Evanston Township Assessor next year after being returned to office in last spring’s election following her defeat by Bonnie Wilson four years ago.
Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott would not confirm the identity of the person whose body was found in the home, but said he’d be able to provide more information about the incident shortly.