A press release from the Woodstock Police Department:
On July 31, 2015, Woodstock Community Unit School District 200 officials notified the Woodstock Police Department Criminal Investigations Division of possible mismanagement and theft of funds from various non-district bank accounts associated with
- the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and
- the Fox Valley Junior High School Conference.
During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the former principal of Northwood Middle School, Jerome “Jake” Wakitsch [age 41], on numerous occasions dating from February 2014 to June 2015, unlawfully withdrew several thousands of dollars from the two said bank accounts maintained by Wakitsch, for which he was an authorized user. Funds taken unlawfully were alleged to have been used for personal gain.
On September 01, 2015, upon conferring with the McHenry County States Attorney’s Office, detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Wakitsch for two counts of theft (over $500.00) and one count of forgery, all class 3 felonies.
The forgery complaint was the result of Wakitsch forging the signature of another authorized user on checks for the PTO account, which required two signatures of authorized persons to be valid.
Wakitsch was notified and immediately turned himself in at the Woodstock Police Department, posted the required $20,000 bond and was released without incident. Wakitsch’s next court date is scheduled for September 15, 2015 at 9:00 am at the McHenry County Government Center.
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Commenter Mark noted in one of many comments under this article that if the principal is convicted of a felony he will lose his teachers’ pension. If it is reduced to a misdemeanor, he will keep his pension.
Maybe the local school boards and hiring boards should be held more accountable when they hire people.
Are all of their credentials investigated.
As with all profession good teachers, firefighter, police etc can do wrong in one state and be hired in the next because of a lack of databases on these offenses.
We say we use so much technology but we don’t really or we could find these cheats faster if people were not so on the defensive about local issues.
As a D200 taxpayer I feel it is the obligation of D200 to press for felony charges rather than plead down.
Our Woodstock property tax rate, due almost entirely to D200 borrowing and spending FAR beyond its means, is 5% of total home value (15% of EAV).
The percentage of household income paid to D200 is 2/3 of that 5% tax rate: and it represents 2/3s of over 15% of median household income in a median value home.
The national average of household-income-to-property-tax-obligation is around 3.5%.
These are astounding numbers and the District’s most pressing issue lately has been whether to obligate $1 of taxpayer money to tear up a grass soccer field and replace it with crumb rubber artificial turf (yes it also requires maintenance, and YES, it needs to be replaced within a decade at extreme high costs because landfills are refusing to accept crumb rubber refuse).
May taxpayers request an audit in detail of this District’s spending?
It is so anomalously high compared to the EAV (evidenced by Woodstock’s 5% property tax rate) that taxpayers are left baffled and desperate for some outside help or intervention.
JEEEZ, if they’ll commit such unethical acts with money for personal gain, what ELSE will they do?!