Retired Illinois Police Sergeant Charged With Stealing $34K From Police Union

Bill Wood

Illinois – A retired Elgin police sergeant was indicted Tuesday on charges he stole more than $34,000 from the Elgin police union.

Bill Wood, 50, is accused of embezzling money from Elgin Police Benevolent and Protective Association Unit 54 of which he was treasurer and president from 2007 to 2013, law enforcement officials said at a news conference announcing the Kane County grand jury indictment.

An arrest warrant for felony theft has been issued for Wood, who now lives out of state, Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon. His bond has been set at $30,000.

Wood retired in August after the union discovered financial irregularities in its accounts and asked the Elgin Police Department to investigate, Chief of Police Jeff Swoboda said at the new conference.

According to a prepared release, the union notified the police department “there was a situation involving a suspicious transaction from the union bank account. This prompted a review, during which financial documents were obtained and analyzed and additional discrepancies were uncovered.”

The information was forwarded to McMahon’s office, which then sought an indictment from the grand jury.

Wood worked for the Elgin Police Department for 25 years and oversaw technical investigations at the time of his retirement.

He is expected to turn himself in on the charges and be released on $3,000 bail, officials said. His next court date is pending, McMahon said.

A judge would have to give Wood permission to travel if he plans to return to where he is currently living between court appearances, he said.

The missing funds were from union dues and fundraising efforts, Swoboda said. McMahon would not disclose how the money was obtained or spent.

Wood is not the first Elgin police officer to be criminally charged.

Former Deputy Chief Bob Beeter pleaded to felony identity theft in 2015 after it was shown he was having a relationship with another officer’s wife and hacked into that officer’s email.

And former Animal Control Officer James Rog pleaded to a misdemeanor theft charge in 2016 after he was accused of taking about $6,000 from the department’s youth Police Explorer program.

Swoboda said he was “disgusted” that an Elgin officer was accused of stealing money.

“Being a police officer is difficult enough,” he said. “We are trying to make sure people realize we are the good guys. Allegations counter to that makes our job that much more difficult.”

Swoboda also noted the department alerted residents to the investigation in August via its Facebook page in an effort to be aboveboard on the case.

“Despite the personal shortcoming of one officer, the Elgin Police Department performed professionally, conducted a thorough investigation and held a former police officer to the same standards and expectations as any other citizens accused of wrongdoing,” McMahon said.

The pension board will be notified of the charges to determine if Wood’s retirement income will be affected by the charges or a conviction, McMahon said.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 4168 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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