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updated: 7/31/2011 5:11 PM

Bad way to pay down electric bill

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So you think your electricity bill is high?

A man who lives near St. Charles has been charged with writing more than $60,000 in fraudulent checks to cover overdue bills to ComEd.

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James M. Vainisi, 43, of the 5N400 block of Glen Oaks Lane, was arrested and charged last week with 13 counts of felony forgery.

Vainisi, who is free on $4,000 bond and due in court again on Aug. 9, is accused of writing fraudulent checks dating back to June 2010 for his electric bills.

Kane County Sheriff Lt. Patrick Gengler said the checks ranged from $870 on the low end to $8,400 on the high end.

"That was the last one he wrote," Gengler said. "(ComEd) attempted to rectify the situation themselves with the homeowner, but it didn't work out."

In all, court records show, Vanisi is accused of writing nearly $62,300 in bad checks to ComEd.

The felony charges are punishable by probation or up to three years in prison.

CASA gets volunteer boost:

Sixteenth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Clint Hull recently presided over the swearing in of nine new court appointed special advocate volunteers.

Lisa Buss, Veronica Castro, Yuri Gadbois, Luanne Irvin, Diane Rosenthal, Laura Martinez, Linda Morrical, Mary Ann O'Donnell, Kristie Svaleson, and Kara Overman each completed a 40-hour training program in order to be sworn in to represent the best interests of children who have cases of abuse and neglect.

To become an advocate for children, call the CASA Kane County office at (630) 232-4484 or visit casakanecounty.org to view a schedule of upcoming general information meetings. Training will begin again in September.

Second advocate accredited in McHenry:

McHenry County State's Attorney Lou Bianchi recently announced that Stephanie Burton, who is assigned to the victim services division, received accreditation as a victim advocate by the National Advocate Credentialing Program.

The national organization designated Burton as a domestic violence intervention specialist and a sexual assault intervention specialist.

To gain accreditation, Burton was required to complete extensive education and training, secure observation evaluations from supervisors, and obtain letters of recommendations from both attorneys and colleagues in the community.

Burton is one of two specialists assigned to the victim services division.

The other specialist at the McHenry County state's attorney's office is Sara Danczyk, who received national accreditation in 2008.

hhitzeman@dailyherald.com

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