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Local

Accused Chronister demands jury trial

Former health department employee accused of stealing was in court Friday

MORRIS – A jury will hear the case involving Renae Chronister, the former health department employee who allegedly stole taxpayer money.

According to the bill of indictment, Chronister is charged with stealing $47,041 in Grundy County Health Department money over a two-year period from Jan. 1, 2010, to May 21, 2012. 

Chronister was present in court Friday at her arraignment hearing where she pleaded not guilty and demanded a trial by jury. The next court hearing was set for 9:30 a.m. July 31 by Judge Robert Marsaglia.

An investigation by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, based on a referral from the Grundy County State’s Attorney’s Office, claims to have found a pattern of repeated cash deposits into Chronister’s bank accounts.

The original investigation was prompted by audit findings that showed discrepancies between the health department and treasurer’s office. Specifically, the audit showed cash being recorded within the health department, but not being deposited with the Grundy County Treasurer’s Office.

Chronister was terminated from the health department in February 2013, and she threatened to sue the county and the Grundy County Board of Health at the time of her termination, according to a previous Morris Daily Herald article.

Also addressed Friday was the defense’s request for a bill of particulars detailing exactly the dates and amounts Chronister allegedly stole.

“They claim to know how much was taken, down to the dollar, so somebody has to have that information,” Chronister’s attorney Randy Gordon said Friday.

The Attorney General investigators claimed they already provided a 161-page forensic audit which includes dates, amounts and receipts for transactions in the health department and Grundy County Treasurer’s Office.

Additionally, they provided the defense documents showing specific deposits into Chronister’s personal bank accounts.

The defense then said it was satisfied with the information.

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