A man jailed after he allegedly gunned down his son-in-law and then shot himself in the head should repay the nearly $150,000 McHenry County spent for his reconstructive surgery, county officials say.
In an unusual move, county officials filed a civil lawsuit against 73-year-old Adriaan J. Vlot seeking to recoup the medical bills they paid to repair the injuries the Texas man suffered in what authorities say was a botched suicide.
Vlot is accused of fatally shooting son-in-law Philip Goldstein Nov. 5 outside the 43-year-old man's Crystal Lake home. Immediately after the shooting, authorities said Vlot shot himself in the head with the .30-caliber, military-style carbine.
In April while Vlot was jailed, McHenry County paid $147,305.66 for reconstructive surgery doctors said he needed to repair facial damage that prevented him from talking and left him vulnerable to potentially fatal infections.
County prosecutors, who filed the suit in McHenry County Circuit Court, declined to comment on which of Vlot's assets they may try to seize or sell to cover the medical bills.
While Vlot has a home and farm near Weatherford, Texas, a state law there apparently prevents the county from placing any liens against that property, McHenry County board member Donald Brewer said.
The suit ultimately may be little more than a symbolic gesture because the county likely will have a tough time collecting any money from Vlot or his wife, Tryntje, Brewer said. "We just want to show that if there is something to offset this, we want to get it. Whether we collect anything is another matter,'' said Brewer, who chairs the county board's law and justice committee.