Former Essex clerk gets 4 years for theft of township funds
Former Essex Township Clerk Traci Freytag has been sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing nearly $100,000 of taxpayer money, according to a release from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
“The defendant used her position as township clerk to cheat taxpayers and enrich herself in a public corruption scheme,” Madigan said in the release. “This sentence ensures she will be held accountable for her actions.”
Freytag stole $94,000 between November 2014 and May 2016, beginning three months after she was appointed to her position. As township clerk, Freytag had access to the townships bank accounts and used that access to write checks to herself, which she then deposited into her personal account. According to the release, Freytag used the money to take two trips to Florida and cover other personal expenses.
The township discovered Freytag’s actions after its funds were completely depleted, leading to an employee’s payroll check bouncing. An investigator discovered the township’s empty accounts and found multiple checks written to and signed by Freytag.
The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Nicole Sutcliffe.