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Former suburban deputy police chief pleads guilty to theft

August 17, 2021 GMT

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — A former suburban Chicago deputy police chief has pleaded guilty to theft for falsifying records to obtain money for work he did not perform, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Under a plea agreement, Patrick Zimmerman, 51, will pay $4,365.29 in restitution to Vernon Hills, complete 50 public service hours, and serve 18 months of probation in exchange for the state dropping an additional charge of official misconduct, Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said. He will not serve any jail time.

The theft was related to a traffic enforcement program administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Rinehart said.

“We feel that this resolution takes into account former Deputy Chief Zimmerman’s years of service to our community, but also holds him accountable for violating the public trust,” Rinehart said.

Zimmerman resigned from the Vernon Hills Police Department in September 2020 after the department identified discrepancies in his records. Investigators found Zimmerman had been paid over $4,000 based on false traffic citations he had written.

Zimmerman wrote false tickets, but never submitted them to a clerk’s office or to municipal officials, Rinehart said.

He was indicted by a Lake County Grand Jury on theft and official misconduct charges in March.