North Chicago is best known as home to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, but the Lake County suburb has recently made headlines as its former police chief readies for trial on charges that he stole more than $200,000 in city funds for his personal use.
Former North Chicago Police Chief Michael Newsome is accused of theft of government property, a felony carrying a potential penalty of up to 30 years in prison. The charge was previously dismissed by the Lake County Circuit to hear the upcoming trial, but was reinstated by an Illinois appellate court.
In addition to the theft of government property charge, Newsome also faces allegations of official misconduct, felony theft and misapplication of funds.
Newsome recently waived a jury trial and will instead have his case decided by Lake County Circuit Judge James Booras in a trial scheduled to begin late in January.
Prosecutors allege that the former police chief stole more than $200,000 in drug forfeiture money in thefts from the city over a five-year period ending in 2012. They say Newsome used the money to pay personal expenses that included car payments, home remodeling and education expenses for his kids.
Newsome became North Chicago police chief in 2005. When he resigned in 2012, he had spent more than a total of 20 years with the department.
In similar cases, not only is the defendant’s freedom at stake, but so is his career, pension, reputation and much more. If you face comparable accusations, speak to an attorney experienced in public corruption defense about your legal options.