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Ex-Barrington High teacher charged with stealing from school

Julie Rachel Salk

Julie Rachel Salk

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Updated: December 19, 2012 11:57AM

BARRINGTON — An additional theft charge was filed Wednesday against the former Barrington High School employee accused of stealing more than $5,000 from the school.

Julie Salk, 50, of Barrington, was charged Wednesday with Class 2 felony theft of government property for allegedly stealing $5,022 from ticket sales from the school’s “Hello Dolly” March 2012 show, Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Marc Bangser said. She had previously been charged with theft, a Class 3 felony.

Salk was chairwoman of the school’s Fine Arts Department and was a high school employee for more than 15 years, Bangser said. She was placed on administrative leave in April and retired in June. An employee complaint sparked an investigation against her, Bangser said.

A group of parent volunteers hired an accounting firm to evaluate ticket sales from the four-day sales, Bangser said. That accounting firm determined that more than $5,000 cash was missing.

Salk admitted to Barrington police that she took the cash box home and said that it was not unusual for her to do so after a performance, Bangser said, adding, “She wasn’t able to explain what happened to the money.”

She posted 10 percent of $10,000 bond with Barrington police.

Bangser told Lake County Circuit Court Judge Raymond Collins that he believed a bond increase was “warranted” at Wednesday’s hearing. He said the school is “looking into” the possibility of additional thefts that may have occurred while Salk was an employee.

Collins refused to raise her bond. He did agree to order Salk not to have any contact with Barrington High officials and students.

Waukegan attorney Doug Roberts filed his appearance Wednesday to represent Salk.

“These charges are completely unfounded and we intend to prove that,” Roberts said.

Salk is due back in court for preliminary hearing Dec. 19.

Barrington School District Superintendent Tom Leonard said Wednesday that the district is “still assessing” what they will look at in terms of other possible thefts connected to Salk.

“Initially, we looked into several things. We focused our efforts on the musical,” Leonard said.

The $5,022 would have gone into the a general expense fund to defray theater costs, Leonard said. Musicals don’t typically make much money. Proceeds go back to the Fine and Performing Arts Department to fund the theater program, he said.

“We make sure that we’re taking care of the needs of the kids,” Leonard said, adding that the theater program will not be adversely affected by the missing $5,022.

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