Meltdown And Malfeasance In Sauk Village
Back in March, we took a look at the strange case of Illinois school superintendent Thomas E. Ryan, who at the time was suspected of committing a variety of unethical (and possibly illegal) acts.
Thursday's New York Times reported that Ryan has been arrested and charged (use ID: freenyt95 password: nytimes) with several felonies, including the theft of more than $100,000. (emphasis added)
On Wednesday, the first day back to school in this suburb of 10,000 people 30 miles south of Chicago, several dozen angry residents chanted "Down with the board" and picketed in front of the school administration building. They demanded that the six remaining school board members be removed for not preventing the alleged misconduct.
Thomas E. Ryan, 53, the superintendent in Sauk Village, Ill., was charged Tuesday with several felonies including theft, intimidation, obstruction of justice and bribery.
"Thomas Ryan was a reverse Robin Hood," said Richard A. Devine, the Cook County state's attorney, in a statement, "stealing from the poor children in his district to line his own pockets, spending money on himself, his family and his friends."
Mr. Ryan is accused of stealing $70,000 to pay for his daughters' college tuition and of giving almost $2,000 in gifts to them, buying hockey tickets worth $1,000 and taking friends out to eat and drink with money from the district, one of the poorest in the state.
Mr. Ryan, the superintendent for 16 years, earned a salary of $183,000 and was known in the community for his zero tolerance policies, once suspending a student for taking a water gun to school.
Investigators said they seized $730,000 in cash from Mr. Ryan's home in a raid last week. Witnesses who cooperated with the investigation said Mr. Ryan bullied subordinates into altering documents to hide his actions, according to the state's attorney's office.
Mr. Ryan, who has pleaded not guilty, is in the Cook County Jail awaiting a bond hearing next month.
Last month, Louise Morales, 73, the school board president, was charged with theft, official misconduct and misapplication of funds. Ms. Morales resigned and has a court date next month.
If (the accused are innocent until proven guilty) Ryan and Morales are convicted of committing these crimes, I hope that they are required to make full restitution, pay hefty fines, and get some significant jail time.
I really don't have much sympathy for folks who steal resources from kids.
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