Librarians are generally regarded as paragons of public servants - cooperative, helpful and honest. That stereotype may be shaken by the arrest and arraignment of the former East St. Louis library director on embezzlement and wire fraud charges.
According to the charges filed in federal court, the defendant used credit cards owned and paid for by the school district to purchase sports and concert tickets. The defendant pleaded not guilty to both charges. The defendant was released from custody based upon his promise to appear in court when required. He was, however, required to surrender his Firearm Owner's Identification card, his concealed-carry card and his passport.
No one was able to authoritatively determine the defendant's salary at the library district. Documents regarding the district's budget, payroll, grant applications and credit card statements were likewise unavailable. The amounts that were charged on the school district's credit cards were not revealed, but the charges are not trivial. If convicted, the defendant could serve up to 20 years in prison on the charges of wire fraud and 10 years on each count of embezzlement. He could also be facing a $250,000 fine.
Anyone facing similar charges may find it helpful to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney for advice on the law and evidence that will govern the case. A knowledgeable lawyer can prove to be an asset when facing such serious charges and can suggest useful defense strategies and perhaps negotiate a favorable plea agreement, if warranted.
Source: Belleville News-Democrat, "Former East St. Louis library director arraigned on embezzlement charges," Beth Hundsdorfer and George Pawlaczyk, May 3, 2018