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Former public health administrator before judge March 21 on theft and official misconduct charges

A former public health administrator was before a judge March 21 after being charged by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office on theft and official misconduct charges.

Dee Ann Schippert, 57, Watseka, was charged by Attorney General Kwame Raoul “with allegedly submitting fraudulent time sheets to the Iroquois County Public Health Board claiming to have worked hours she did not actually work, valued in excess of $100,000,” reads a press release from Raoul’s office.

Schippert was arrested by Illinois State Police Special Investigations Unit March 20 in Champaign.

 

Schippert is charged with two counts of theft of government property, which are Class X felonies punishable by up to 30 years in prison, six Class 1 felonies of theft of government property, which are punishable up to five years in prison, and 17 Class 3 felony counts of official misconduct, which are punishable by up to five years in prison. “Sentences are ultimately determined by the court and can run concurrently,” reads the statement from Raoul.

 

Judge William Dickenson presided over court proceedings March 21. Iroquois County judges Michael Sabol and Kara Bartucci have recused themselves from the case.

According to judici.com information, Schippert appeared at the Zoom video hearing March 21 in the custody of the sheriff’s department. Public Defender Lance Cagle was also present as was Assistant Attorney General Mara Somlo. It was noted that Schippert may hire private counsel instead of a public defender. Part of the March 21 proceedings indicate that she is not to leave the State of Illinois and refrain from going to areas of the health department and Iroquois County departments that are not open to the public. She is to report to pre-trial services within 24 hours. She was read her appeal rights.

She will next go before a judge at 9:30 a.m. April 4 when the next status hearing is set. That hearing is set to be in a Kankakee courtroom.

In the press release, Raoul says that Schippert began her time as Iroquois County Public Health Department administrator in 2015, and had worked at the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department for more than 20 years before that.

“While in the administrator role, Raoul’s office alleges from May 2020 to July 2022, Schippert knowingly deceived the government by misrepresenting to Iroquois County’s Board of Health how much work and what type of work she did,” reads the release. “This included submitting multiple fraudulent time sheets claiming regular and overtime work hours she did not actually work. Raoul alleges that, as a result, Schippert was paid more than $100,000 she should not have received.”

“Public officials who abuse their position for their own financial gain must be held accountable,” Raoul said in the release. “I would like to thank the Illinois State Police for their assistance in investigating this case. My office will continue to collaborate with law enforcement agencies to investigate and

hold accountable government employees who take advantage of the trust their communities have placed in them.”

"No one is above the law and when we learn of possible public corruption, the Illinois State Police Special Investigations Unit will be there to hold offenders accountable on behalf of the public," said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly.

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