Correctional Officer Named in Theft of Jail Funds

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Published on July 16 2012 7:20 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

An Effingham County Sheriff's Department correctional officer faces counts of theft and official misconduct for allegedly taking bond fees from the Effingham County Jail for his personal use.

40-year-old Jason L. Thompson of Teutopolis is accused of taking close to $4,000 from the jail while on duty.  The thefts are alleged to have been going on as long as 2010, and Thompson told investigators that several thousand dollars more could have been taken.

Effingham County State's Attorney Ed Deters told Judge Sherri Tungate in court Monday afternoon an Illinois State Police investigation uncovered that Thompson allegedly was taking funds to address financial difficulties.  A $20 bond fee is assessed to help cover costs when a bond is posted.  Thompson is accused of taking more than $1,000 during several months earlier this year, but he acknowledged during an interview with police that the incidents have been going on for longer than that.

Thompson, a county employee since 2007, has been suspended from his duties without pay.  Judge Tungate granted Deters' request for a $25,000 bond due to an offense that Deters said "reflects betrayal of public trust."

Deters told the judge that Jail Administrator Marnie Raber noticed that revenues in the bond fees were consistently less than they should've been, and she notified Sheriff John Monnet who asked State Police to investigate since the incident involved his office.

Monday's hearing was held so Deters could ask Judge Tungate to authorize an arrest warrant for Thompson.

The theft count alleges the taking of the money; the official misconduct charge alleges that the thefts occurred while Thompson was performing his duties.