Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013
Former Crainville Water Clerk Accused of Stealing $70,000
CRAINVILLE -- A former Crainville water clerk is accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the community.
Linda Harvill, 62, of Crainville, faces theft and misconduct charges after an audit of village records discovered missing funds.
Harvill was a clerk at the Crainville Water Department for more than 20 years and went on medical leave last June.
Now, court documents accuse her of stealing more than $70,000 from her former employer.
Most people don't think twice about where their money goes when they drop off their bill at the water department.
"You trust your governments. You trust your governments to be honest for you," said Jan Morris of Carbondale.
But long-time Crainville clerk Linda Harvill is now accused of violating that trust by pocketing money from the water department from January 2010 to June of last year.
"She should go to jail," said Frank Becker, 80, of Carterville says the allegations are despicable.
"They're just cheats and they want to take money from hard-working people and use it for their own benefits," he said.
He also wonders why their wasn't enough oversight to prevent the embezzlement. "I wonder who's watching all these people that are taking this money."
Crainville Mayor Ron Mitchell says he's unable to comment on the charges right now.
In an August 2012 interview, Mitchell told us village leaders noticed a discrepancy between receipts and deposits in mid-June, so they hired an outside firm to audit the books.
"They're looking at all financial records in all our departments for the last 2 and 1/2 years," he said at the time.
Theft and misconduct charges filed by the attorney general's office allege Harvill stole $70,726.
"I mean, that money came out of somewhere so they probably had to raise the water bills for everybody else to pay for her ill-behavior," added Morris.
Morris says too many employees get away with breaking the law and it's not about oversight, it's about a lack of honest people.
"Somebody just needs to be doing their job," she said. "You know, you don't need more regulation for that. You just need someone to step forward and do their job."
Attempts to contact Harvill Tuesday were unsuccessful. Mayor Mitchell has said before that Crainville water rates will not be affected by the missing funds. Harvill is scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. Monday, October 7th.
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