Peotone park director charged with theft, forgery, official misconduct

January 25

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced today that his office has filed theft, forgery and official misconduct charges against the director of the Peotone Park District.

Robert “Randy” Cross, 53, of 117 E. Crawford St., Peotone, was arrested earlier this week on a $3,000 warrant from Florida for failure to pay child support. Cross was in the Will County Jail late Friday when he was charged with one count each of theft, forgery and official misconduct.

The theft charge is a Class 2 felony that alleges Cross stole in excess of $10,000 from park district funds. The forgery charge is a Class 3 felony that alleges he signed a park official’s name on a $564.31 park district check that was payable to himself. The official misconduct charge is a Class 3 felony that alleges he committed theft while acting in his official capacity  as a park district employee.

Circuit Judge Sarah Jones late Friday signed an arrest warrant setting bail at $500,000. Cross must post 10 percent, or $50,000, to secure his release while awaiting trial. 

The Peotone Police Department initiated an investigation into missing park district funds earlier this week. However, Peotone Police Chief Bill Mort turned the investigation over to the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office because he is acquainted with the defendant in this case.

“Chief Mort acted in the best interests of the park district’s citizens and his department by sending the investigation to an outside agency to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said.

Detectives Daniel Procarione and Dean Morelli of the state’s attorney’s office launched an investigation early Friday and presented their findings to Glasgow and Assistant State’s Attorney Chris Koch for review. Glasgow recently appointed Koch to head a Financial Crimes Prosecution Unit in the state’s attorney’s office. Charges against Cross were filed Friday evening.

The ongoing investigation has had an impact on Peotone Park District operations. Park facilities are closed and park programs have been temporarily suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office reminds the public that charges are 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.