- Elected Officials
Jessica Thomas, Auditor
Jessica Thomas was born and raised on the south side of Peoria. She graduated in the Top 10 of her class from Peoria Manual High School. After graduation, she attended Grambling State University, a prestigious historically black university in Grambling, Louisiana. Jessica graduated from Grambling State University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting with a minor in Marketing. In 2011 she graduated from Kaplan University with a Masters of Business Administration.
The County Auditor is an elected official and serves a four-year term. The Auditor is responsible for the internal audit of operations and financial records of the County and vendor database.
Robert Spears, Circuit Clerk
The Circuit Clerk is an elected official with a four-year term. Robert Spears as the Clerk, is the keeper of both the seal of the circuit court and the court records, including files and exhibits. The Clerk's Office process criminal and juvenile delinquency cases, ordinance, conservation and traffic violation cases and civil cases. In addition, the Office summons citizens to jury duty, provides clerks for the courtrooms, and collects fines, costs and fees.
Jamie Harwood, Coroner
The Peoria County Coroner's Office investigates all deaths occurring in Peoria County. The Coroner's Creed and the Coroner's Act establishes questions that must be answered to fulfill the requirements of these investigations. Based on the investigation of the decedents' death, the findings of the autopsy and/or toxicology results, the cause and manner of death are usually determined. Coroner Jamie Harwood and the Coroner's Office staff seek to provide advocacy for families and justice for the deceased; our goal is to do these tasks in the most efficient manner possible.
Rachael Parker, County Clerk
Rachael Parker was appointed as the Peoria County Clerk on August 8, 2019. She was the 5th district County Board member since first being elected in 2010 prior to being appointed County Clerk. Rachael had also served on the Peoria Public Schools board for 3.5 years, served as the Economic Development Director for the City of Chillicothe, and also runs a small business, Sweet Cakes by Rachael.
The County Clerk provides a variety of essential services, including maintaining public filings, recording land records and other documents, maintaining vital records and issuing certified copies, issuing marriage and other various licenses. The County Clerk also prepares the real estate tax bills, collects all delinquent taxes and is the keeper of the Board agenda and minutes.
Chris Watkins, Sheriff
Chris Watkins is a lifelong Peoria resident and an 18-year veteran of the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office. He began his employment with the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office in 2004 as a Corrections Officer until working up through the ranks as Patrol Deputy, Lieutenant, Director of Courthouse Security, Patrol Captain, and currently as Sheriff. Chris has also served as Vice President of the police union, and as a member of the Central Illinois Emergency Response Team, FBI Safe Streets Task Force, and the Weapons of Mass Destruction SWAT team in Illinois. Find more information about the Sheriff's Office.
Jodi Hoos, State's Attorney
The Peoria County State's Attorney's Office prosecutes criminal defendants and represents all elected county offices in civil, labor and administrative matters, including the Sheriff, Coroner, Treasurer, Clerks, County Administrator, and Peoria County Board and addresses matters of dispute related to the County's employees.
Superintendent, Regional Office of Education
Beth Crider was elected to her first 4-year term in 2014. She was an educator in the Peoria Public Schools for more than 17 years prior to coming to the Regional Office of Education.
The Regional Superintendent serves all school districts in Peoria County by acting as the liaison between the Illinois State Board of Education and the locally elected school boards. Other mandated duties of the office include GED testing services, school bus driver safety, health/life safety school inspections for all school buildings in Peoria County, homeschool services, home/hospital tutoring services, truancy services, teacher licensure, and educator professional development.
In addition to these mandates, the Peoria Regional Office of Education also manages the Peoria Regional Learning Center located at Wildlife Prairie Park, the Illinois Virtual School, Peoria ROE Adult Literacy, GED course instruction at the Peoria County Jail, and multiple Preschool for All sites.
Nicole Bjerke, Treasurer
The County Treasurer is an elected official with a four-year term. The duties of the Treasurer's office include receipt, management and disbursement of public funds, as well as the collection, management and distribution of property taxes levied by various units of local government. The investment of county funds is administered by the Treasurer's office as well. View contact information for Nicole Bjerke.