Judge dismisses theft, kickback charges in DuPage Forest Preserve trial
A DuPage County judge has dismissed nearly half of the 142 counts, including all theft and kickback counts, against former DuPage County Forest Preserve IT manager David Tepper and virtually all the charges against a vendor accused of conspiring with Tepper to steal from the district.
Judge Liam Brennan issued his ruling via email late Tuesday but explained his decision in court Wednesday morning. The ruling came after prosecutors rested their case against Tepper, 51, River Forest and Arif Mahmood, 39. of Glendale Heights.
Prosecutors have alleged Tepper and his former supervisor Mark McDonald, 55, of Wheaton, ran organized schemes with Mahmood. McDonald was set to stand trial with Tepper and Mahmood, but was severed from the case due to an illness and will stand trial separately at a later date.
In the first scheme, while acting as co-owners of Integrated Design Solutions, McDonald and Tepper billed the forest preserve district for more than $90,000 worth of equipment and services that were never delivered from July 2005 through November 2011, prosecutors said.
Brennan, however, said Wednesday that the forest preserve district's failure to inventory any of their computer equipment prevented prosecutors from proving the charges.
Mahmood, the owner of now-shuttered Alamach Technology Inc., was also accused of overbilling the forest preserve district for contracted work and subcontracted with Tepper's and McDonald's Integrated Design Solutions in the amount overbilled for the services that were never provided,
Brennan ruled there were two instances in which Alamach mistakenly billed the district twice for services. Those instances, he said, were mistakes and not unlawful attempts.
In total, Brennan dismissed 73 of the 142 counts facing Tepper, including theft by deception and kickback charges. Tepper still faces 69 counts including official misconduct. Mahmood is now only charged with official misconduct and conspiring to unlawful participation.
Tepper's attorney, Terry Ekl, said he expects the defense case to last two more days before closing arguments, likely on Friday.