Former solid waste agency director to plead guilty

The former executive director of the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County expects to plead guilty to charges that he stole about $850,000 from the agency, his lawyer said Monday during a court hearing.

Attorney Thomas Breen said he anticipates Christopher Brooke Beal, 49, will plead guilty at his next court appearance, set for Dec. 12 in Skokie.

Authorities charged Beal with a felony in March 2011, after they say he submitted false expense reports over the last six years of his tenure at the waste agency, which handles garbage disposal for about more than 20 suburbs.

Beal, who began working at the waste agency in 1989, resigned in October 2010 from his $160,000-a-year-job after auditors determined he submitted invoices for reimbursement for training and management classes at Harvard and Northwestern universities and at the University of Chicago. Authorities say he did not attend any such classes.

Beal wrote checks to himself totaling nearly $600,000 over the final two years of his waste agency tenure and then doctored documents and financial reports to hide the payments he was making to himself, officials allege.

Breen declined to comment further following Monday’s hearing.

If convicted, Beal faces six to 30 years in prison. Probation is not an option.

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