A picture of the inside of Marshall's Fields, aka Macy's where most of the embezzled money went
County worker allegedly took $169,000

August 15, 2007
BY ERIC HERMAN Staff Reporter eherman@suntimes.com
Prosecutors charged a former employee of the Cook County Assessor's office Tuesday with stealing nearly $170,000 -- and using the money to shop at department stores and cover her daughter's college costs.
Joyce Pierce, 51, allegedly raided an account kept for handling Freedom of Information requests, according to prosecutors. If convicted, she faces up to 15 years in prison.

Pierce managed the Freedom of Information department in Assessor James Houlihan's office. When the office levies charges for documents, those funds go into a bank account, sources said.

According to assistant state's attorney John Carey, Pierce "withdrew for her personal benefit approximately $169,000 from the Cook County Assessor's account" at Chase Manhattan Bank. Pierce, an eight-year employee, made the multiple withdrawals from November 2002 through November 2005, he said.

A source in Houlihan's office said the theft went undetected because the county stopped doing audits every year. But a law enforcement source said "there was really no oversight." The theft came to light after a periodic audit, which revealed documents had been altered.

"We take the public trust very seriously and are cooperating fully with the investigation," Houlihan said in a statement. "We have taken steps to make sure this sort of problem doesn't happen again."

Pierce bought money orders and used them to pay off credit card bills and, on one occasion, to pay $750 to the University of Pennsylvania, Carey said. Pierce's daughter, 21, attends the school, a source said.

The credit card expenditures included purchases at Marshall Field's, Nordstrom and Saks, Carey said.

Pierce, of Chicago's Roseland community, pleaded not guilty Tuesday. Her attorney, Neil Cohen, said she is likely to plead guilty later.

"Our hope is we can avoid jail time," Cohen said.

Judge Clayton Crane set bond at $110,000.



W

4 Comments:

  1. SP Biloxi said...
    "Prosecutors charged a former employee of the Cook County Assessor's office Tuesday with stealing nearly $170,000 -- and using the money to shop at department stores and cover her daughter's college costs."

    And that is where Baloneybitch should be finding the missing money to fix the budget. 170k stolen from a county employee. Look at that lost to the CC and how many CC employees and taxpayers will suffer financially from someone's greed. Illnois is more of the Robin Hood mode: steal from city or county, spend for personal agenda, leave the poor to pick up the tab.
    KittyBowTie1 said...
    Yeah, and that is just ONE employee!!! Gee, do ya think the Toddler is capable of paying attention to what goes on on his county (besides lining his own pockets)?
    SP Biloxi said...
    "Gee, do ya think the Toddler is capable of paying attention to what goes on on his county (besides lining his own pockets)?"

    Yeah, kittybowtie.

    Urkel look the other way with theft from county and city employees while he is filling his own pockets. The robbers are robbing the robbers.
    Anonymous said...
    Stoger had nothing to do with this theft. The theft was made possible by Assessor Jim Houlihan who has failed to oversee what his employees are doing on a day to day basis.

Post a Comment



Newer Post Older Post Home

 

Blogger Template by Blogcrowds.