Illinois Boss puts $59,000 in Escrow

Patrick Stiles, the ex-boss of Aurora (Ill.) Firefighters Local 99 accused of embezzling up to $311,000, agreed Mar. 8 to place $59,000 in an escrow account pending the resolution of a civil suit. The account will hold his pension fund and deferred compensation account assets until Local 99 and Aurora Firefighters Relief Ass’n’s suit is decided.

The suit alleges Stiles stole up to $240,000 from the union and up to $71,000 from the ass’n. Allegedly, the funds were used for personal purposes such as paying off credit card debt, paying phone bills, buying computer equipment and paying other unwitting firefighters who worked on his house. Additionally, the union and the ass’n filed criminal complaints that launched an investigation by Aurora police and the Kane County state’s atty.’s office.

The account agreement averted a hearing before Kane County Cir. Judge Michael Colwell on whether Stiles should be held in contempt for allegedly not adhering to an earlier order.  Stiles has until Mar. 22 to provide an accounting of all union and ass’n funds while he was secretary-treasurer of each: 1992-2001 and 1995-99, respectively. He must include financial records, computer files and meeting minutes. Stiles has already provided a listing of his personal assets, which were frozen in Feb. under the initial court order. [Chi. Trib. 3/9/01]