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Article updated: 10/20/2012 4:21 PM

Antioch Rescue Squad treasurer charged in theft from agency

By Lee Filas

The former longtime treasurer for the troubled Antioch Rescue Squad has been charged with stealing from the agency for the past decade.

John W. Edgell, 54, of the 40000 block of Deep Lake Road, was arrested late Friday night and charged with theft over $500, Antioch Police Chief Craig Somerville said. Edgell was free on bond Saturday after posting $200, or 10 percent of his $2,000 bond.

Edgell, the squad's treasurer for 10 years prior to his resignation earlier this month, is accused of stealing $12,618.12, Somerville said.

He added Edgell will be moved from the Antioch police station to the Lake County jail in time for bond court at 9 a.m. today. Theft over $500 is a felony punishable by three to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Trouble for the rescue squad started in May, when a lawsuit surfaced that accused rescue squad leaders and members of the department of sexually harassing three female squad members.

The lawsuit was followed by an Illinois Department of Public Health warning over unprofessional behavior involving rescue squad members. That Aug. 14 letter to rescue squad Chief Wayne Sobczak accused the squad of mistreating patients, allowing employees to begin their shifts within hours of excessively drinking alcohol, and slipping medication in the food and drinks of fellow squad members.

The village of Antioch then signed a 90-day contract with the rescue squad to assert more control. That contract is set to expire in mid-November.

Somerville said an investigation into the theft and the squad will continue.

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