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Article updated: 2/27/2013 3:53 PM

Former Des Plaines cop accused of fraud pleads not guilty

By Madhu Krishnamurthy

Retired Des Plaines police commander Timothy Veit, who is accused of padding overtime hours in reports which led to the department's misuse of federal funds, pleaded not guilty to the charge in federal court Wednesday morning, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office said.

Veit, 55, of Mount Prospect, is charged with making false statements in federal reports that led to the Des Plaines Police Department fraudulently receiving $132,893 in overtime reimbursements for drunken driving enforcement campaigns.

Veit was released on his own recognizance, said Randall Samborn, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office. He is scheduled to appear for a status hearing June 4 before federal Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

Veit is facing a maximum of five years in prison if convicted of the felony charge filed last week by the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago.

Federal prosecutors said Veit oversaw the department's administration of the federally funded Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program and, between 2009 and 2012, inflated drunken driving arrests in order to receive additional funding from the program. Prosecutors said Veit reported 122 "fictitious" DUI arrests.

Veit signed off on the paperwork submitted to the Illinois Department of Transportation, which includes a form documenting arrests, citations and hours worked by employees.

Veit doesn't have a listed phone number and couldn't be reached for comment.

Veit retired in April 2012 after 31 years with the department. He was paid overtime in the amounts of $25,603 in 2011, $11,530 in 2010 and $3,042 in 2009, according to city documents. Thirteen rank-and-file Des Plaines police officers are facing suspensions for violating department rules and policies related to "irregularities" with the reporting of hours worked on the campaigns, according to officials.

For the 2011-12 fiscal year, Des Plaines was awarded a $115,236 grant from STEP -- the highest amount in the Northwest suburbs. IDOT suspended the grant last spring after the city notified it of potential problems.

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