Former DuPage County Forest Preserve Employees Charged with Theft, Official Misconduct

Two former DuPage County Forest Preserve District employees are charged with plans to bilk a government entity of more than $100,000.

Two former DuPage Forest Preserve District employees face charges of stealing more than $100,000 from a government entity with two "elaborate" schemes over a six-year period, DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin announced Wednesday.

Mark McDonald, 53, of the 1000 block of Childs Street in Wheaton, and David Tepper, 49, of the 300 block of Franklin Avenue in River Forest, worked in the Forest Preserve's IT department. McDonald was the director and Tepper was a manager, according to a press release from the State's Attorney's office.

Arif Mahmood, 37, of Glendale Heights, a former contractor with the forest preserve, also faces charges of stealing more than $10,000.

Authorities say the men planned to bilk the forest preserve of about $150,000. In the first plan, involving McDonald's and Tepper's company Integrated Design Solutions, the two former employees billed and received more than $90,000 from the forest preserve for equipment and services that were never delivered from July 20, 2005 to November 7, 2011, according to the release.

In the second scheme, officials say Mahmood acted as an employee of Alamach Technology Inc., and overbilled the forest preserve for contracted work from February 25, 2010 through November 7, 2011. He then subcontracted with Integrated Design Solutions in the amount overbilled for services that were never rendered, netting McDonald and Tepper more than $64,000 in kickbacks, according to the release.

Berlin said in the statement that the three men "took advantage of the public trust and lined their own pockets at taxpayers' expense."

He added the charges against the men are in no way indicative of the forest preserve as a whole. "It is unsettling when a public employee is accused of wrongdoing," he said.

He said after an internal investigation, authorities with the forest preserve alerted the State's Attorney's office. He also thanked the FBI and DuPage County investigators.

McDonald and Tepper are charged with one count of theft, a Class X felony, one count of illegal participation, a Class 3 felony, one count of official misconduct, a Class 3 felony and one county of kickbacks, a Class 3 felony.

Mahmood is charged with one count of theft, a Class 1 felony, and one count of kickbacks, a Class 3 felony.

Tepper has been released after posting $30,000 of his $300,000 bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 1 in front of Judge Robert Kleeman.

Mahmood has been released after posting $20,000 of his $200,000 bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 1 in front of Judge Kathryn Creswell.

McDonald was taken into custody Wednesday evening and is currently being held in the DuPage County Jail on $300,000 bond. He is sheduled to appear in DuPage County court Sept. 20, in front of Judge Blanche Fawell.


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Dan F. September 06, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Clearly you do not understand FOIA exceptions for subpoena disclosures during pending investigations. If you refile the FOIA, now that charges have been filed, and arrests made, they should be released, as happened with the Blago/Trib instance.
J C Harding September 06, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Instead of being grateful for their well paying jobs during this dreadful economy and period of high unemployment, they got greedy. I also imagine their benefits package was not too shabby either. I find it difficult to believe that this is their first dishonest endeavor and I'm betting that others were either involved or knew about their schemes. Finally, I'm not holding my breath that these guys will ever see any serious prison time ...
Jane September 06, 2012 at 03:31 PM
See opinon from th IL AG in the BGA lawsuit against Maywood for copies of subpoenas. "We conclude that a grand jury subpoena recieved by the Village is not speicifcally prohibted from disclosure by federal or state law or rules or regulations implementing federal or state law.... We direct the Village to immediately release the requested record (a subpoena)..." https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/412846-bga-sues-maywood.html http://www.bettergov.org/better_government_association_sues_maywood_for_refusing_to_release_subpoena_/
We Deserve Better in DuPage September 09, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Pierotti talks a big game but his actions should be a big shame! Thank you to Adam Morgan of Chicagoland Outdoors http://www.chicagonow.com/chicagoland-outdoors/2012/09/trouble-in-the-forest-fbi-looks-into-dupage-preserve-scandal-district-president-goes-on-angry-tirade/#comment-5 for taking the time to cover this important story. The FBI's investigation of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, the closed door meeting the President of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County had with the Chairman of DuPage County and the big bonuses paid to the former Executive Director are excellent reasons why we should ask questions. If we (concerned citizens) don't ask questions no one will because the Commissioners have not asked one. Let President Pierotti yell, make false accusations and insult the concerned citizens but at the very least please answer our questions. Please pass this along!
Pat R October 22, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Why were there no grand jury indictments? Why were there no federal charges for conspiracy and bribery?


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