Indicted Libertyville school officials turn selves in

A Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 school board member and the secretary to the district's superintendent turned themselves in to Lake County authorities Thursday, a day after they were indicted on perjury charges.

Board member Ellen Mauer, 52, and Denise Zwit, 65, assistant to Superintendent Prentiss Lea, each were released on $25,000 recognizance bonds after they were processed at the Lake County sheriff's office. Mauer and Zwit are scheduled to appear in court on the felony charges July 5 and July 6, respectively.

Neither could be reached for comment Thursday. Mauer declined to comment after her indictment Wednesday, referring questions to her attorney, who did not return calls Wednesday and Thursday.

In the meantime, additional details about the accusations against them emerged Thursday.

According to Assistant Lake County State's Attorney Fred Day, the charges allege Mauer and Zwit signed documents falsely claiming they were present during the circulation of nominating petitions for the April 5 school board election, and the signatures were obtained in their presence.

Mauer faces four counts of perjury. Zwit faces three. The charges are felonies punishable by a maximum two to five years in prison, though probation is a sentencing option.

"Each count for each person is the number of sheets where improper signatures were discovered," Day said. "So, four counts for (Mauer) is the number of petition sheets found to be erroneous. The three counts for (Zwit) is the number of sheets found erroneous."

Mauer, who also serves as principal at Spaulding School in Gurnee, won her fourth term in the election. She received the most votes of the five candidates in the race.

As was the case Wednesday, District 128 spokeswoman Mary Todoric said the district is not commenting on the indictments. The school board's next scheduled meeting is June 26.

Libertyville District 128 school board member, secretary indicted on perjury charges

Denise Zwit
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