A Round Lake Beach police officer pleaded not guilty in court Wednesday to multiple counts of theft, identity theft and official misconduct for using police department money to purchase more than $3,700 in gasoline.
Kenneth Rydz, 41, of McHenry, a 17-year department veteran, faces 3 to 7 years in prison if found guilty on one of the two felony theft charges filed against him.
Rydz also faces possible prison terms of 2 to 5 years on the official misconduct charges, 1 to 3 years if found guilty on the identity theft charges. His trial is set for Nov. 4.
Rydz and his attorney did not comment after Wednesday's arraignment hearing in front of Lake County Judge Mark Levitt.
He remains free from custody on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond, authorities said.
Round Lake Beach Police officials said Rydz is on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of the charges.
Authorities said Rydz used a department credit card to purchase fuel from Thornton's Gas Station between March 2013 to May 2014.
Round Lake Beach officials had told officers to fill up their police vehicles at the village's department of public works, and not to use the Thornton's gas card except in an emergency, authorities said.
Round Lake Beach Police Chief David Hare previously said a questionable Thornton's bill came into the department that was initially thought to be a mistake. When officials checked into the bill and determined it was not a mistake, it was turned over to the Lake County state's attorney's office for an investigation, authorities said.
State's attorney investigators found transactions from Rydz totaling more than $3,700 leading to criminal charges being filed July 7, officials said.
Rydz is due in court Sept. 18 for a case management conference.