La Salle County coroner Bill Wujek is retiring from public life and will not seek re-election, prompting chief deputy Rich Ploch to seek the post in November 2020.
Ploch announced his candidacy Tuesday for La Salle County coroner. He has served as a deputy coroner since June 2003 and was appointed chief deputy coroner in 2015.
“Managing a coroner’s office requires a high level of responsibility, integrity, experience and commitment,” Ploch said. “Both my current and past work experience, education and countless hours of professional training will enable me to accomplish these goals. I am respected by local law enforcement, and the funeral homes.”
Ploch has experience in mediological death investigation, National Incident Management Systems (NIMS), human forensic osteology, aquatic death investigation, and has other forensic certifications. He is Board Certified by the Illinois State Coroner’s Training Board.
“If elected, I pledge to continue to provide the very best death investigations and the care of your loved ones and their needs,” he said, “but remain fiscally responsible to the citizens of La Salle County.”
Ploch resides in Peru with his wife, Jodee. He has four children and two grandchildren.
Wujek retires after six years of service in the La Salle County Coroner’s Office, serving first as a deputy then as interim coroner after Jody Bernard’s retirement. He ran unopposed in 2016. Prior to that, Wujek had 31 years of experience in law enforcement including 15 with Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services, from which he retired in 2013.