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Geneva Streets Superintendent Charged With Theft—$24,000 in Unauthorized Credit Card Purchases

The Kane County state's attorney authorizes charges of theft, online theft and official misconduct against Geneva Streets Superintendent Steve LeMaire. As of Friday night, LeMaire has not surrendered himself to police.

  • Editor's note: An earlier version of this article contained information from a draft of the Geneva Police Department press release. This article has been updated to reflect accurate, up-to-date information about Steve LeMaire's bond and his pending surrender to police.

 

The Kane County State's Attorney's Office has authorized felony charges against Geneva Streets Superintendent Steve LeMaire for making more than $24,000 worth of unauthorized credit card purchases.

According to a press release issued by the Geneva Police Department at around 4:47 p.m., arrangements are being made to have LeMaire surrender himself to Geneva Police, at which time he will be processed for the charges.

His bond is set at $25,000, meaning he will have to post 10 percent, or $2,500 bail.

The State’s Attorney’s Office authorized the following criminal charges to be filed against LeMaire:

  • Theft—a Class 1 felony carrying a possible sentence of four to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections with a fine of up to a $25,000.
  • Online Theft by Deception—a Class 2 felony with a possible sentence of three to seven years and up to a $25,000 fine.
  • Official Misconduct—a Class 3 felony with a possible sentence of two to five years and up to a $25,000 fine.

The city of Geneva suspended LeMaire from work on Jan. 12 pending the outcome of an investigation related to suspicions that he had intentionally misused city funds.

At the request of city officials, the conducted an investigation to determine the validity and extent of the misuse, and whether criminal behavior had occurred. 

The misuse of funds originally was discovered on Jan. 11, when Director of Public Works Dan Dinges was reviewing a monthly credit card statement and noticed purchases made by LeMaire that seemed suspicious.

Past purchases were re-examined, revealing many additional purchases made by LeMaire. More than $24,000 in unauthorized purchases were discovered dating as far back as 2004. The press release did not say what items were purchased with the city's credit card.

JMZ February 04, 2012 at 12:29 AM
WOW, so it took 8 years to discover this? What else are we missing? Perhaps someone should take a look at anyone who had access to spending OUR money and make sure no other misappropriation has happened. And hopefully, Mr. LeMaire will have the decency to pay back the residents of Geneva. I'd like to know what kind of purchases were made and why it took so long to be noticed.
Chad Baker February 04, 2012 at 12:49 AM
2004! Who has been approving these purchases for the last eight years? Any organization I have ever seen requires reporting and approval for all purchases. Someone has been reviewing and approving. Either Mr LeMaire is very skilled at theft or someone very incompetent has been approving his expenses.
Bob Wilson February 04, 2012 at 03:12 AM
As a former Geneva Superintendent of Streets & Walks (for just one day, admittedly, back when GECOHI seniors were put in positions of civic responsibility in preparation for future adult power trips), I experienced temptations similar to Mr. LeMaire's. Were it not for the kind and corrective action of Walter Nelson, a noted humanitarian of that day, I may well have met the current superintendent's fate.
Colin C. February 04, 2012 at 03:39 PM
I have no idea what actually happened here and I will resist the temptation to make any judgements before the judicial process runs its course but I do feel very sorry for Steve and his family. He is a nice person and has done a good job for Geneva for many years. Regardless of the final result, it's very sad to see his career end in this manner.
Chad Baker February 04, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Good point, let's see all the facts, there may be more coming. The part I find interesting is $24,000 isn't that much over 8 years, you could do that in unauthorized lunches. There must be something pretty blatant to press criminal charges. Even the simplest judicial process, not including any incarceration, will cost hundreds of thousands of tax dollars for a $24,000 crime.
Rick Anderson February 05, 2012 at 01:16 AM
It took only one day to realize an opportunity to steal from the public trust? What did they show you?
Rick Anderson February 05, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Is this the same professional city worker that wanted a brand new municpal truck that the pseudo CEO mayor and council were bent on giving him the money to buy it; that otherwise those very dollars may end up not being in the checking account the following yearr? This all encompassing scenario reeks and warrants a full independent investigation of city hall.
Rick Anderson February 05, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Where there is smoke....there is a fire.
B.A. Paczki February 05, 2012 at 04:46 AM
Let's hope that the alderman demand a full investigation and have an independent auditor look at all departments.
M. Durkin February 06, 2012 at 03:31 PM
I concur that a complete audit should be done for all the departments !! I find it very difficult to believe that he is the only one that is abusing his credit card. Where are the checks and balances in our local government if it takes 8 years to catch a thief. Shame on us if we keep electing the people that propagate this lack of control of our money as taxpayers! M. Durkin
JMZ February 09, 2012 at 04:24 PM
How long are records kept? What's the record retention policy for government? Is that why 2004 is mentioned because perhaps the records don't go back any further? Also, if found guilty, Will all pension and other benefits be terminated?
Chad Baker February 09, 2012 at 04:51 PM
I find it hard to believe this guy would risk his job and pension for $3,000 a year, unless there was a culture of acceptance for this type of activity. Otherwise the leadership in that department is completely incompetent. How can you not track expenses for eight years? These are our tax dollars being stolen. I agree with other comments, that there needs to be a complete audit top to bottom by a 3rd party.

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