By Jean Lotus
On Jan. 8, a Cook County grand jury indicted Samantha Bardgett, executive secretary at the West Suburban Consolidated Dispatch Center, on two counts of Class 1 felony theft. The veteran employee allegedly stole $53,606.05 by altering her paychecks over the past four years. She was also charged with two counts of official misconduct.
The dispatch center is a multi-government collaboration that provides police, fire and EMS dispatch services for Oak Park, River Forest, Elmwood Park and most recently Park Ridge. Housed within the River Forest municipal complex on Park Avenue, the dispatch center was founded in 2002.
River Forest police arrested Bardgett, 38, of Schaumburg on Nov. 20, 2014. According to a police report, she was accused of paying herself un-earned overtime and vacation pay on multiple pay periods from February, 2011 until her arrest.
Bardgett had worked at the dispatch center since 2002, said Executive Director John Ferraro. Her salary was $49,827 per year.
According to police, an audit uncovered financial red flags in Bardgett's salary history. Ferraro declined to give further details, citing the upcoming trial.
Bardgett was terminated from WSCDC upon her arrest, Ferraro said.
She will appear in court for an arraignment at the Maywood Courthouse, Jan. 28.
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