Barrington police Tuesday accused the recently retired chairman of the Barrington High School Fine Arts Department of the theft of approximately $5,022 in theater and raffle ticket revenue from a March musical at the school.
Julie Rachel Salk, 50, of Barrington, turned herself in after a warrant was issued in Lake County. She was released after posting $1,000, or 10 percent of her $10,000 bail.
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Salk will appear in court at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, in Waukegan.
Salk was in charge of administering the Fine Arts Department's program and event expenses, including for the March performances of the musical "Hello, Dolly!"
According to police, a fellow employee of Barrington Unit District 220 alerted school officials to suspicious financial management practices by Salk in April. School district officials then notified police and an investigation began.
Salk was placed on administrative leave April 16 and retired during the first week of June, just before the end of the school year.
District 220 spokesman Jeff Arnett said at the time that Salk would receive no further benefits or severance pay from the district.
District 220 Superintendent Tom Leonard released a statement Tuesday night commenting on the length of the investigation, the gravity of the charges and new money-handling protocols the district has adopted to insure against such occurrences in the future.
"News such as this is never easy to share because it momentarily detracts from the many positive contributions of honest, ethical individuals in Barrington 220," Leonard wrote. "While student achievement is our unwavering focus, fiscal integrity and responsible communication are also our hallmarks. We will continue to honor all three of these values in our day-to-day operations."
Salk's charge is a felony in Illinois. A further investigation of the ticket revenue and financial transactions from other Barrington High School Fine Arts Department events handled by Salk is still pending, police said.
Dave Urbanek, spokesman for Illinois' Teachers' Retirement System, said a teacher or administrator convicted of a felony that involved their service as a TRS member would lose the pension.
The review of such a case would begin only after the criminal conviction, however.
In some cases, a convicted teacher or administrator may be eligible for a refund of the personal contributions he or she made toward a pension that's no longer available, Urbanek said.