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Local

Suspended Marseilles chief charged with theft

Suspended Marseilles Police Chief Vernon “James” Hovious was charged Monday with stealing from the city.

Hovious, 55, is accused of stealing at least $500, but no more than $10,000 worth of city building materials between April 1 and Sept. 30, 2012. The new Marseilles police station was built around that time. The charge is a felony.

Notice was sent to Hovious, telling him the first court hearing is Wednesday, Oct. 31, before Chief Judge H. Chris Ryan Jr.

The Marseilles City Council put Hovious on paid leave in August, after he came under investigation by state police for what the council said at the time was misusing city funds. Lt. Brian Faber was appointed acting chief.

The council was made aware of this allegation via an anonymous letter sent to city officials around the first of the year. Officials then forwarded the letter to the La Salle County State’s Attorney’s Office for further investigation. Hovious had been police chief since 1999.

He started his career with the Marseilles department in 1989. Hovious also served a stint about 20 years ago as Utica police chief.

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