Two court employees charged with altering documents
Two sisters working in the Lake County circuit court clerk's office have been charged with altering court records for "personal benefit," prosecutors announced Friday.
Leticia Gonzalez and Veronica Ventura changed electronic and paper records that concerned civil and criminal cases in which they or people they know are involved, Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim told the Daily Herald.
The crimes date back to 2010, according to a news release from Nerheim's office.
"This type of conduct undermines the integrity of our court system and will not be tolerated," Nerheim said.
Gonzalez, 45, of the 1000 block of Shiloh Boulevard in Zion, is charged with eight counts of official misconduct.
Ventura, 41, of the 1400 block of Lorelei Drive in Zion, is charged with two counts of official misconduct.
The women, who are clerks, were arrested on warrants Thursday. Gonzalez was arrested at her home, while Ventura was arrest after an interview at the state's attorney's office, Nerheim said.
The altered documents were uncovered during an internal audit, Lake County Circuit Court Clerk Keith Brin said in the news release.
"Two of my chiefs identified unauthorized changes in court files and immediately sprang into action to bring these individuals to justice," Brin said. "The public trust will not be breached under my watch."
Brin couldn't be immediately reached for additional comment Friday. Jeanne Polydoris, the chief deputy circuit court clerk, declined to comment.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secret Service field office in Chicago and the state's attorney's office participated in the investigation into Gonzalez's actions, authorities said. Gonzalez was the first of the two cases launched, Nerheim said.
Ventura was investigated solely by the state's attorney's office.
Ventura was released from custody after posting 10 percent of $50,000 bail. She is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.
Gonzalez was released after posting 10 percent of 20,000 bail. She is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 25.