Former Elgin deputy chief will pay $20K for hacking email of girlfriend's husband

  • Former Elgin Deputy Police Chief Robert Beeter, left, shown with Elgin police Sgt. Tamara Welter at a 2009 accreditation conference, reached a $20,000 settlement in a federal lawsuit that he hacked into the email of Welter's then-husband to help her in her divorce.

    Former Elgin Deputy Police Chief Robert Beeter, left, shown with Elgin police Sgt. Tamara Welter at a 2009 accreditation conference, reached a $20,000 settlement in a federal lawsuit that he hacked into the email of Welter's then-husband to help her in her divorce. courtesy of Elgin Police Department

 
 
Updated 1/26/2018 1:08 PM
The settlement amount has been corrected to $20,000.

A former Elgin deputy police chief will pay $20,000 to settle a federal lawsuit for hacking into the email of his then-girlfriend's husband to gain information to help in her divorce.

The husband, Greg Welter, and his business partner, Debra Seitz, sued in 2011 to gain information about who had hacked into their emails and company accounts.

 

The matter eventually was traced to Robert Beeter, 56, of Inverness, who was charged with numerous counts of identity theft and misconduct in spring 2013 in Kane County.

In summer 2015, Beeter pleaded guilty to felony identity theft and was sentenced to two years of probation, which he successfully completed, records show. Misconduct charges that Beeter used a law enforcement database for personal use were dismissed.

Seitz said the settlement will all be used to pay lawyer fees, but the lawsuit was not about money.

"Beeter thought he was above the law and it took two civilians to bring him and his mistress down," Seitz said.

The agreement signed this month and filed this week in federal court prohibits Beeter from appealing the settlement.

Messages left with Beeter's defense attorney, James DeAno, were not returned.

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Charles Mudd, attorney for Welter and Seitz, could not be reached for comment.

In summer of 2010, Elgin Police Chief Jeff Swoboda suspended Beeter and Tamara Welter, who was a sergeant at the department, for a month without pay for their affair.

Tamara Welter's husband, Greg, was a lieutenant with Elgin police at the time and is now retired. They are now divorced.

Seitz and Greg Welter were real estate business partners, and Seitz said she became suspicious when Tamara Welter started using confidential business information against Greg Welter in the divorce case. A message left with Greg Welter was not returned.

Beeter took a buyout from the police department in 2012 as the city of Elgin looked to cut costs. He was hired as police chief in Stockton, a rural community about 100 miles west of Elgin, but was suspended after the criminal charges were filed and later fired.

If Beeter fails to pay the $20,000 settlement, he would be responsible for paying $50,000 in damages as well as attorney fee.

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