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Financial exploitation lands Monticello man in prison for 4 years

In Champaign County... a Monticello man gets a four year prison sentence for stealing $37,000 from his grandmother.

45-year-old Douglas Whitehouse will also have to serve two years of mandatory supervised release after the prison. A plea agreement also orders him to pay $40,315.85 in restitution to the estate of his 96-year-old grandmother, who's a resident of the Piatt County Nursing Home.

The Piatt County State's Attorney's office launched an investigation because of unpaid bills. The case was eventually turned over the Illinois Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Bureau, and the state filed charges of theft and financial exploitation of an elderly person in January, noting Whitehouse had power of attorney over his grandmother's finances.

On Wednesday, Whitehouse pleaded guilty to financial exploitation of an elderly person and the theft charge was dropped. He was given credit on his sentence for two days already served.

Court documents said Whitehouse used his "position of trust or confidence" with his grandmother to steal from her between April 11, 2011, and October 31, 2014.

94.1 WGFA / cg081915

  • Parent Category: News

Herscher, PBL teachers get new contracts

As the new school year gets underway, teachers in the Herscher district have a new five-year contract in place while the PBL teachers have agreed to a fresh three-year pact.

The usual three-year contract is actually a 5-year pact for the Unit 2 District at Herscher. Teachers will see an annual four-percent salary increase over the next five years. Concessions made by the teachers union include a freeze on health insurance benefits and a reduction on what had been a 3-year retirement benefit.

Also, teachers nearing retirement were receiving a 6% salary hike for each of their final three years. That's now reduced to just one year under terms of the new contract.

At Paxton, PBL Superintendent Cliff McClure said the school board and teachers agreed to a 9% raise over the life of the three-year contract. It calls for a 6% raise this fiscal year and 1.5% pay hike in the next two years. The pact is for support staff too.

The contract is effective immediately, retroactive to the start of this fiscal year on July 1. The contract runs through June 30, 2018.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

State says evidence will show Andrew Condon guilty of murder

No weapon was ever found, but Iroquois County State's Attorney Jim Devine told a jury today (Wed) the evidence and testimony will lead to a murder conviction against 36-year-old Andrew Condon.

Devine's opening statement to a seven women – five men jury will prove Condon shot and killed 27-year-old Jonathan Rubin at the Gilman gas station where the victim worked in 2012. The trial is expected to last two weeks. It's being heard by Judge Gordon Lustfeldt.

Condon has pleaded not guilty. He's represented by attornies Ed Glazer and Greg Morgan.

A parade of state witnesses, Devine told the jury, will include an FBI hand-writing expert who will tell the court It was Condon's handwriting in a letter to another witnesses, asking that man to change his statement made to police investigators.

Devine also stated that investigators will reveal 16 spent 9 millimeter casings found at the scene of the murder in Gilman match a box of ammunition found during a search of Condon's rural Ashkum home – that box of ammo was minus 16 shells.

Jonathan Rubin was shot several times the early-morning hours of October 27, 2012 after he refused to sell Condon cigarettes without a legal I.D. The State's case claims Condon was irrate with Rubin for not allowing to buy his cigarettes.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

New Public Defender named in Kankakee County

Attorney Gus Regas is the new Public Defender in Kankakee County.  Chief Judge of the 21st Circuit, Michael Kick, announced the selection of Regas Tuesday afternoon.

Regas was elected by the Circuit Judges of the 21st Judicial Circuit.  He begins his duties September 12 (2015).

Judge Kick said he and his fellow Circuit Judges are pleased and enthusiastic about the prosepct of working with the Public Defender-elect in the future.  He's considered qualified for the position and will be an excellent leader for the office, according to Kick.

Regasbrings extensive experience in the criminal justice system, including two years as an Assistant State's Attorney, 23 years in the Public Defender's Office and the last 13 years as the Drug Court Public Defender.  he's also maintained a private law practice in Kankakee since 1979.

Regas is graduate of Eastridge High School in Kankakee.  he earned his B.A. from the U of I at Champaign-Urbana and completed his law degree at John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

94.1 WGFA 

  • Parent Category: News

Opening statements in Condon trial nearing

Twelve jurors are in place for the Andrew Condon murder trial in Watseka. Opening statements are expected today in the Iroquois County courtroom of Judge Gordon Lustfeldt.

The jurors selected include seven women and five men.  Four more alternate jurors will be selected today from an original pool of nearly 100 citizens.

The 36-year-old Condon has pleaded not guilty to 2-counts of first-degree murder.  He's accused of shooting to death 27-year-old jonathan Rubin of Danforth in 2012.  Rubin was working as a clerk at a Gilman gas station when he was shot several times.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.

94.1 WGFA