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Former North Chicago top cop indicted for theft

Michael Newsome

Michael Newsome

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Updated: February 25, 2013 6:01AM

The former North Chicago chief of police was indicted by a Lake County grand jury Wednesday on official misconduct and theft charges.

Michael Newsome, 51, is accused of stealing more than $140,000 from North Chicago’s drug asset forfeiture fund.

Newsome is alleged to have used the fund for personal expenses such as car payments, remodeling his home and his children’s education, according to Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Stephen Scheller, chief of the criminal division. Fund money was earmarked for programs like DARE, he said.

The theft was discovered after Newsome resigned in Feburary.

James Jackson, a retired Chicago police commander, was appointed interim police chief and was told to review internal police policies to ensure the department was operating properly.

North Chicago Police Department had come under fire in the wake of the Nov. 13, 2011 death of Darrin “Dagwood” Hanna after being arrested by police while Newsome was police chief.

The missing money was discovered and the State’s Attorney’s Office spent about nine months investigating before Newsome was charged with the theft.

If convicted, Newsome faces six to 30 years in prison for the theft of government property charge.

His bond was initially set at $100,000. but was lowered to $25,000 after Newsome voluntarily surrendered. He is no longer in custody.

He is due for arraignment Feb. 6.

Newsome was appointed police chief in 2005 after 14 years in the department.

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