Lake County judge warns all sides to keep child out of felony theft case
A Grayslake woman and members of the Frederick School PTO were admonished by a Lake County judge Wednesday for using an 11-year-old girl as a pawn in a felony theft case.
Elizabeth S. Bako, 42, was told to have no contact with Frederick Elementary School or its parent-teacher organization after Bako was accused of stealing more than $10,000 from the group between April 2011 and May 31, 2012.
However, school officials said they have seen Bako -- who remains free after posting the required 10 percent of her $5,000 bail -- picking up her 11-year-old daughter from the Round Lake Park school, Assistant State's Attorney Scott Turk said.
The statement pushed Judge Victoria Rossetti to admonish Bako for using her child to repeatedly go onto school grounds, and members of the school PTO for routinely pulling the child into the court fight.
"You cannot put the child in the middle of this anymore," Rossetti said told Bako and members of the Frederick PTO who attend Bako's court hearings. "It's getting ridiculous ... on all sides."
Rossetti added that Bako has a right to pick up her child before and after school. However, she said Bako is not allowed to get out of the car or have contact with anyone from the school while she is there.
"The child should have no part of this," Rossetti warned. "No stare downs or whatever. This is it."
Bako, of the 300 block of Woodland Drive in Grayslake, is due to go to trial Oct. 7. She is charged with two counts of felony theft.
Authorities allege Bako knowingly obtained unauthorized control of the PTO finances and stole more than $10,000 but less than $100,000. She is also said to have charged more than $150 from a debit card assigned to the PTO between July 1, 2011, to May 31, 2012, authorities said.
Frederick School is part of Grayslake Elementary District 46.
Bako and defense attorney Christopher Lombardo did not comment following Tuesday's court hearing.