JOLIET, Ill. (AP) - Prosecutors accused the chief of the Joliet
Fire Department and his wife Wednesday of swindling an 84-year-old
widow out of more than $200,000 after she granted them power of
A criminal complaint filed in Will County Circuit Court charges
Joseph and Cheri Lynn Drick with unlawful exploitation of an
elderly person, conspiracy and theft by deception, the state's
attorney's office announced Wednesday. All three charges are
Drick, who was promoted to chief in 1998 after 18 years with the
department, resigned his $113,000 a year post Wednesday, but he
will remain employed by the department as a division chief, said
Joliet city spokesman Kevin Hegarty.
"He's only been charged. So, we'll wait this out and see what
happens," Hegarty said. "He's innocent until proven guilty."
In the meantime, the city has appointed Deputy Fire Chief
William O'Hara as acting chief, Hegarty said.
The Dricks allegedly stole the money from Gladys Farrington of
Joliet, who met them in 2002, State's Attorney Jeff Tomczak said.
"They offered Gladys a ride home, but she never imagined how
that ride would leave her unable to control how she would spend the
final years of her life," Tomczak said.
He said the power of attorney that the Dricks obtained in
February 2003 allowed Cheri Lynn Drick to "gift herself" cash
withdrawals from Farrington's bank accounts.
Seven days after gaining power of attorney, a $57,000 account
was closed, Tomczak said. The money was then deposited into an
account for Drick Educational Services, which is a company that
Joseph Drick runs, he said.
"In his bookkeeping, the money was listed as 'Gladys' gift,"'
Altogether, the couple is accused of bilking the widow out of
more than $200,000.
The Dricks used the money to buy a 2003 Cadillac Escalade, home
furnishings and cemetery plots, prosecutors allege. They also used
it to cover travel expenses, credit card debt and to make mortgage
payments, prosecutors said.
A related civil lawsuit accuses the couple of taking control of
the widow's $1.1 million estate, prosecutors said.
The Dricks and Farrington could not be reached immediately for
comment. Both have unlisted phone numbers.
Roger D. Rickmon, an attorney representing Cheri Lynn Drick in
the civil lawsuit, said Wednesday that he had not been contacted by
his client about the criminal charges.
The Dricks are expected to turn themselves in to authorities
Friday morning, Tomczak said.
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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08-20-2004, 01:53 AM #1
Joliet, Illinois Chief charged w/feloniesProudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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08-20-2004, 10:49 AM #2
They all get greedy sometime in their lives. Trying to live better than the other fellow. Maybe they will think how they are such a crook while they sit in the jail for ahile.
It could have been the mayor, police chief, tax collector that did this. This is nothing new and it will continue as time gos on.Stay Safe and Well Out There....
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08-20-2004, 05:48 PM #3
Maybe the Chief can get a job in Bridgeport, CT. after he does his time.
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