The former treasurer of a Glendale Heights youth football and cheerleading organization used the nonprofit group's debit card to pay for her utility bills, authorities said Friday.
Ruth Kline, of the 0-100 block of Drummond Avenue, was charged with felony theft after an audit of the Glendale Heights Spartans Football and Cheerleading organization's revenues and expenses found the card was used to pay for Kline's home electric and gas bills on June 15, 2011.
Authorities said Kline paid ComEd $620.27 and Nicor Gas $601.65. The organization's annual budget is between $35,000 and $45,000, funded by registration fees and fundraising.
"When you take $1,200 from anywhere -- especially a kids' program -- that's significant," Police Cmdr. Steve Ewoldt said. "If you're going to deprive kids of money, the charges are appropriate."
As part of an affiliate agreement, the nonprofit's board was required to provide the village with its financial documents, including an annual audit, in exchange for free use of a football field, field house, lights and maintenance support.
Village Recreation Director Cecelia Sullivan said the village terminated the old agreement and assumed financial responsibility for the organization beginning this year. The football/cheerleading program is now operated by the recreation department with a volunteer parent board guided by village approved bylaws.
This season, there are approximately 125 football players and 80 cheerleaders enrolled in the program.
Kline turned herself in last month, and was released on $5,000 bail. She is due in court Oct. 25.
If convicted, she could face between one and three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.