Neighbors react to former Zeigler treasurer's indictment - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Neighbors react to former Zeigler treasurer's indictment

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ZEIGLER -- Neighbors and city leaders in Zeigler are still shocked to hear about the corruption that led to hundreds of thousands of dollars missing from their city. 

“It’s a disgrace what’s going on right now and I’m glad they’re finally taking steps to do something,” said Danny Rady, a Zeigler resident. “For someone to screw around with my money, like that just makes me mad.”

Former City Treasurer Ryan Thorpe faces federal charges for stealing more that $300 thousand dollars — three counts of wire fraud and two counts of embezzlement. 

“Ryan will have to pay a price for this, I mean the citizens are going to have to pay a price in the city, Ryan is going to have to deal with the law on it,” said Zeigler Mayor Dennis Mitchell. "Unfortunately, you don’t ever want to think it can happen in your town.”

The grand jury indictment lays out how investigators say Thorpe wrote checks to himself, then forged the checks to look as if he'd made them out to city vendors.

The indictment even lays out several purchases Thorpe apparently made for himself with taxpayer money, including two motorcycles, numerous firearms and a lady's diamond ring. 

Items that leave taxpayers like Rady frustrated. 

“He should of used it to pay the bills like he was supposed to and not use it for his gain, and that just irks me because I pay my bills,” Rady said.

The mayor said the city made changes to prevent further abuse. 

“All the checks I have to sign now, every check, every invoice," the mayor said. "I see it personally so I’m not relying on the finance commissioner or anybody else, I have to approve it.”

And he said that’ll be the case until they make structural changes. 

“I wish it never happened, but it did happen," Mitchell said. "The best we could do is try and clean it up now, and that’s what we’re doing.”

Rady wants to see an end to corruption, and his tax money used for the public's benefit.

“I’m really hoping that everything will get back to normal and people will just start flying right now," Rady said. "No more corruption, no more scandals, anything like this, this town don’t need it, it’s a nice little town.”

The scandal hit every corner of city government, including the Zeigler Police Department, which also took a financial hit.

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