The former north suburban waste agency director charged with embezzling $900,000 told an assistant he stole the money because he was angry at the agency, prosecutors said today.
Brooke Beal, the former executive director of the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County, was ordered held in lieu of $500,000 bail this morning in the Skokie branch of Cook County Court this morning.
His family should be able to raise the funds, said his attorney, Thomas Breen.
Prosecutors asked for a high bond because one of his assistants reported to authorities that he had threatened suicide before he left the agency. Beal failed to show up for a meeting one day as officials were investigating financial discrepancies and Beal called an assistant to say he was driving to a train station and he planned to commit suicide, said Assistant State’s Attorney Nick Trutenko.
The assistant met with him that day and he confessed the thefts, saying he stole the money because he was angry at the agency, Trutenko said.
Judge Larry Axelrood ordered Beal to hand over any firearms if he is released, though Breen said he is no longer suicidal.
Beal, 47, of Chicago, resigned last fall as the agency’s executive director after an external audit found that money was missing from a staff education fund and that a document related to the fund had been falsified.
At the time, officials said a criminal investigation had been launched into Beal’s management of staff education funds.
Beal is charged with theft of government property valued at more than $100,000, a Class X felony, and faces 6 to 30 years in prison if convicted.
Hinkel is a Tribune staff reporter, Cox is a freelance reporterCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times