Lake County sheriff to electronically monitor Hastert

A haggard-looking Dennis Hastert can be seen in a booking photo released Wednesday - the first public image of the former House speaker after his 13 months in federal prison for scheming to cover up his sexual abuse of boys.

The image comes from the Lake County sheriff's office, where Hastert, 75 - called a "serial child molester" by a federal judge - was processed after his release from a Minnesota prison.

Hastert was brought in to be put under electronic monitoring, a sheriff's spokesman said. The sheriff's office has a federal contract to do that work.

Hastert left the Rochester Federal Medical Center in southeast Minnesota on Monday, officials said. He served roughly 85 percent of a 15-month sentence for illegally structuring bank transactions while trying to cover up his dark past.

He is now under the supervision of a residential re-entry management field office in Chicago, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

Lake County sheriff's department spokesman Chris Covelli did not confirm Hastert's exact location or whether he was in the Lake County area Wednesday. He said that although Hastert is no longer in physical custody, he remains under the Federal Bureau of Prisons' jurisdiction.

Speaking in more general terms, Covelli said that if a Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate were to break the conditions of the electronic monitoring, the Lake County department would notify the federal authorities to respond.

Covelli did not know whether Hastert's health was a consideration in the decision to have him electronically monitored by the Lake County sheriff's office.

• This report was produced in partnership with the Chicago Sun-Times. For related coverage, check Daily Herald correspondent Katie Smith contributed to the report.

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