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Former North Chicago police chief due back in court Jan. 23

Michael Newsome

Michael Newsome

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Updated: January 27, 2013 6:06AM

The former North Chicago chief of police was back in court Dec. 18 for a brief hearing to schedule his preliminary hearing for his theft charge.

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 this fund for personal expenses such as car payments, remodeling his home and his children’s education, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Stephen Scheller, chief of the criminal division. That money was earmarked for programs like DARE, he said.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 23. He is represented by attorney Doug Zeit.

The theft was discovered after Newsome resigned in Feburary. Retired Chicago police commander James Jackson 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.

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

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.

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

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