Essex Township Clerk Arrested After Allegedly Stealing $94,000

The Essex Township Clerk was arrested on Wednesday after she allegedly used taxpayer money for personal expenses, including two trip to Florida. Traci Freytag was appointed township clerk in August of 2014. She was arrested by authorities in Aiken, South Carolina and will be transported back to Illinois on the pending charges. It’s alleged that between November 2014 through May 2016, Freytag deposited approximately $94,000 of Essex township checks into her personal bank account. As clerk, Freytag had access to Essex township bank accounts and was able to write checks from those accounts. The scheme was uncovered after a township employee indicated that his payroll check from the township had bounced. A FDIC-OIG investigator then inquired with the State Bank of Herscher, which holds the Essex township account, and discovered the funds had been completely depleted. He also discovered multiple Essex Township checks written to and signed by Freytag that were deposited into her personal US Bank account. Frytag has been charged with theft of government property, financial institution fraud and two counts of official misconduct. If convicted, she could face up to 15 years in prison. Essex Township is located in Kankakee County, just south of Braidwood.

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