November 16, 2006
JOLIET – A grand jury this week handed down indictments against two Will County Courthouse employees who are accused of fixing traffic tickets.
Arthur Schultz Jr., 44, court security surveillance coordinator, and Diana Massat, 28, a clerk who worked in the circuit clerk’s office, both were indicted for official misconduct and tampering with public records.
Official misconduct is a Class 3 felony that carries a potential 2-5 year prison sentence upon conviction. Tampering with public records is a Class 4 felony that carries a potential 1-3 year sentence upon conviction.
Massat alone also faces a single indictment on one count of computer tampering, which also is a Class 4 felony.
Probation is a sentencing option on all of these charges.
The indictments, which were approved by a judge on Thursday morning (Nov. 16), conclude a two-month grand jury investigation.
Schultz Jr. and Massat are accused of altering computerized court dockets to make it appear that traffic tickets had been dismissed in open court. In reality, those who had received the traffic tickets in question never appeared in court to plead their cases.
The indictments allege Schultz Jr. and Massat worked together to fix 11 traffic tickets between Feb. 28, 2005 and May 9, 2006. Massat is alleged to have fixed eight traffic tickets on her own between Dec. 9, 2003 and July 11, 2006.
The investigation turned up no evidence that anyone who received these traffic tickets paid money to have them dismissed. The state’s attorney plans to reinstate all of the traffic tickets in question.
Schultz Jr. recently resigned from his position at the courthouse. Massat no longer works for the circuit clerk’s office.
“It is extremely unfortunate when government employees who are given a position of responsibility violate the public trust,” said State’s Attorney James Glasgow. “An exhaustive investigation of these allegations of ticket fixing was critical to maintaining the integrity of our court system. People must have confidence in our system of justice. The grand jury made the appropriate decision to issue these indictments.”
Glasgow commended Will County Circuit Clerk Pam McGuire for uncovering these alleged actions and forwarding the matter to his office for investigation immediately after the allegations surfaced in July.
“Pam McGuire acted decisively and took the steps necessary to secure her office,” the state’s attorney said. “She extended her full cooperation during every aspect of this investigation.”
Schultz Jr. and Massat are expected to surrender to authorities at the Will County Jail today (Thursday, Nov. 16). Bail was set at $35,000 for each defendant. They each must post 10 percent or $3,500 to secure their release while they are awaiting trial.
The Will County State's Attorney's Office reminds the public that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Charles B. Pelkie
(815) 530-7110 (cellular)
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