Former Island Lake mayor indicted in ghost-payrolling case

 
 
  • Thomas Hyde

    Thomas Hyde

  • Sharon Hyde

    Sharon Hyde

Published: 7/22/2009 3:38 PM | Updated: 7/22/2009 4:37 PM

A Lake County grand jury on Wednesday indicted former Island Lake mayor Thomas Hyde on charges he assisted his wife in a ghost payrolling scam.

Sharon Hyde is accused of collecting more than $100,000 in pay for hours she did not work as director of the village-run preschool.

Thomas Hyde, who was acquitted last month of forgery and official misconduct charges involving his handling of a village liquor license, is accused of voting as mayor and a trustee to pay his wife for the unworked hours.

Assistant State's Attorney Christen Bishop said investigators believe Sharon Hyde was paid at least $111,000 for hours she did not work at Creative Playtime Preschool at village hall.

Bishop said the dispute involves money Sharon Hyde was paid between January 1999 and May 31 of this year, and her husband's votes to approve those claims.

Their attorney, Charles Smith of Waukegan, insists neither has done anything wrong.

Sharon Hyde was a salaried employee of the village whose hour count did not effect her income, Smith said, and state law allows the votes her husband cast to pay her.

Thomas Hyde is charged with official misconduct and having a prohibitive interest in contracts.

Both crimes are punishable by up to five years in prison, but he would also be eligible for probation.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 6 before Circuit Judge Fred Foreman.

Sharon Hyde is charged with theft of government property, official misconduct and making false entries and would face a mandatory prison sentence of six to 30 years if convicted.

She was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday, but Smith asked for the case to be assigned to a new judge and the arraignment was reset for July 29 before Circuit Judge John Phillips.

Despite the charges Hyde is still director of Creative Playtime.