Secretary at joint police dispatch center indicted for alleged paycheck theft

Grand jury charges against woman who allegedly stole $53K over three years

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By Jean Lotus

Forest Park Review Editor

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.

Reader Comments

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Mks from Oak Park  

Posted: January 22nd, 2015 4:02 PM

Stan from Austin, your comment is appalling.

op.runner from Oak Park  

Posted: January 21st, 2015 12:32 PM

Does anyone reconcile these accounts?


Posted: January 21st, 2015 11:43 AM

Or maybe her house being foreclosed on in 2013.


Posted: January 21st, 2015 11:39 AM

The first red flag should have been the fact that she has a myspace page.

OP Guy from Oak Park  

Posted: January 21st, 2015 11:21 AM

Salary of 49K since 2002! OP, RF, EP, and PR should be charged for being cheap SOBs. This is hardly a living wage.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: January 20th, 2015 10:52 PM

It took four years to discover this? Hope they also got rid of their auditor.

Chuck Mann from Oak Park, IL  

Posted: January 20th, 2015 6:41 PM

In other news, the WSCDC is now hiring for an administrative assistant position.

J. Crawford from Forest Park  

Posted: January 20th, 2015 3:04 PM

That takes some nerve!

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