MACON COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — “I am announcing my retirement effective Monday, June 28th,” said Macon County Sheriff Antonio Brown. He is stepping down from his role after a long court battle.
Last week, it was reported that Election Judge Anna Benjamin declared Root the winner of the Macon County Sheriff’s race from 2018. That spot had since been occupied by Brown. The sheriff was given 30 days to appeal the decision.
During a Friday morning news conference, Brown explained why he is choosing not to appeal that decision.
Tony Brown was elected sheriff by one vote and was sworn into office in 2019. A recount appeared to give him more votes, but a judge’s ruling this past week gave it to Jim Root by 16 votes.
“This situation has gone on for two-and-a-half years and has divided this community along with the sheriff’s office,” said Brown. That is why he said he is not appealing the judge’s decision.
Speaking Friday morning, Brown stressed that evidence proved only ballots obtained from the county clerk were fed through the machine as early votes and those voters were constantly under the eye of election judges. But some early voters had their ballots negated because judges did not add their initials.
“The Macon County community, along with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, is larger than any individual,” said Brown. “It is time for us to heal.”
Sheriff Brown said there is no room for division to continue in the county, especially with widespread unrest happening throughout the country.
He said he is proud to have accomplished the goals he set before stepping into the role and plans to continue serving the community.
“I have dedicated my life to helping individuals throughout the entire Macon County community, and will continue to do so until my dying breath, no matter what platform I have,” Brown said.
Sheriff Brown stated he will do everything he can to help Root successfully transition into the role. Brown first began his career in law enforcement more than 31 years ago with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office.