Former Williamson County employees indicted on charges of theft, official misconduct

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Chicago – Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced charges against three former officials of the Williamson County Circuit Clerk’s Office for theft of more than $84,000 in county funds for personal profit.

Madigan announced felony theft and official misconduct charges against Marsha Dickinson, 49, formerly of Marion and the former clerk supervisor; Cheryl Cundiff, 58, of Herrin and a former deputy clerk; and Kelly Trammel, 43, of Marion and a former deputy clerk. Madigan alleged the trio conspired to steal cash bond payments to the office starting in 2008 and continuing through August 5, 2013.

“The defendants took advantage of their positions for personal gain and in turn defrauded county taxpayers,” Madigan said. “This case is another example of my commitment to ensuring public integrity in Illinois government.”

Dickinson, the former clerk supervisor, was charged with seven counts of official misconduct, three counts of theft, one count of conspiracy to commit theft and three counts of forgery. Cundiff was charged with two counts of official misconduct, one count of theft and one count of conspiracy to commit theft. Trammel was charged with two counts of official misconduct, one count of theft and one count of conspiracy to commit theft.

Madigan alleged in the charges that the defendants regularly processed cash payments for bond in their capacity as employees of the Williamson County Circuit Clerk’s Office and conspired to steal the cash payments and sought to conceal the thefts.

The public is reminded that each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Public Integrity Bureau Chief David Navarro, Associate Director Louis Dolce and Assistant Attorneys General Jonas Harger and Eric Rieckenberg are handling the case for Madigan’s office. The Illinois State Police referred the case to the Attorney General’s office after conducting an investigation.

Madigan formed the Public Integrity Bureau and tasked it with using the tools afforded the office within statutory limits to uncover public corruption and enforce state law. Public Integrity investigations have led to the convictions of elected officials, public employees and government vendors – from an elected state representative and county state’s attorney to local officials – who used their positions for personal or political gain.

During her tenure, Madigan’s office also has investigated and prosecuted cases of fraud involving government programs, including public construction projects, child care and in-home care, unemployment insurance and student loan programs, Medicaid and state grants.

Madigan also created the position of Public Access Counselor in her office to serve as a watchdog for public bodies that refuse access to public records. The Public Access Counselor reviews and resolves thousands of public record disputes each year, working to reverse Illinois’ long legacy of a lack of government transparency.