Boss Can’t Make Bail; Sits in Illinois County Jail

An ex-firefighter union boss, accused of stealing some $350,000 from two union funds, could not come up with the $100,000 needed to make his bail on Oct. 30. So after a judge declined Patrick Stiles’ request for a lower bail, the boss was taken to the county jail.  Kane County (Ill.) Associate Circuit Court Judge Robbin Stuckert subsequently reset bail at $50,000 on Oct. 31, but Stiles still remained in the Kane County Correctional Ctr. Stuckert declined a request by Stiles’ attorney, Fred M. Morelli Jr., to release him on his own recognizance.

Stiles turned himself in after he was indicted on four felony counts in connection with the theft of more than $100,000 from Aurora Firefighters Local 99 and more than $10,000 from the Aurora Firefighters Relief Ass’n. At the bond hearing, Aurora Police investigator Mike Tierney said a 9-month probe found that Stiles stole about $350,000 from both groups. He pled not guilty. Circuit Court Judge Timothy Q. Sheldon set a Nov. 16 status hearing.

Stiles, who resigned his firefighter’s post on Jan. 15 after more than 11 years with the Aurora dep’t, was secretary-treasurer of the Relief Ass’n from 1995 to 1999, and he held the same post at Local 99 from 1992 to 2001. In a civil suit filed by Local 99 and Relief Ass’n, Stiles agreed in Apr. to pay $275,000 to the two organizations. As part of that agreement, Stiles agreed to turn over about $64,000 in his retirement funds. Stiles, however, has made no further payments on the $275,000, said Local 99 president Gregory Frieders. Stiles was allegedly unable to make bail because of the civil settlement, which also placed a lien on his home and froze his other assets.

Stiles allegedly made out union checks to pay for non-union expenses, including $16,800 to credit card firms, $8,839 for telephone bills, $3,250 for computer equipment and $8,000 for payments to a non-union bank account. The Relief Ass’n alleged that Stiles wrote $15,092 in checks to himself, $12,000 credit cards, $1,941 to his mechanic and $4,420 to firefighters to work on his house.

Stiles, who operates a lawn-cutting business, also works at Granger Middle School. Nancy Ederson, Indian Prairie Unit School Dist. 204’s assistant superintendent for human resources, said Stiles was working as a teacher’s assistant, a position in which he has no involvement in school finances. His status at Dist. 204 is expected to remain the same, as Ill. School Code doesn’t bar employment under the charges. [Chi. Trib. 11/1, 10/31, 2/9/01]