Township worker charged with stealing government funds

ORLAND PARK, Ill. (AP) _ A former employee of a suburban Chicago township has been accused of embezzling government funds to pay personal expenses including credit card and utility bills.

Michelle Patras of Tinley Park is charged with theft of government property in excess of $10,000 and continuing a financial crimes enterprise.

The Daily Southtown reports the 48-year-old Patras is accused of stealing about $59,000 in Orland Township funds during the more than two years she worked there. Orland Park police say Patras surrendered to authorities last month.

The money was allegedly taken from the food pantry fund as well as the township’s general assistance fund, used to help township residents suffering financial hardship.

Attorney Pat Walsh said Monday the case against Patras “has a lot of layers, and people should reserve judgment.”

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