Corrections officer charged with stealing $20K in unworked overtime

Manuel Duarte | Lake County sheriff's office

A Lake County corrections officer is accused of stealing thousands of dollars through falsified timecards.

Manuel Duarte is charged with one count of theft and one count of official misconduct, according to a statement from the Lake County sheriff’s office.

Duarte was taken into custody at his north suburban Beach Park home about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, the sheriff’s office said.

In June, administrators ordered an internal review after supervisors found discrepancies in Duarte’s electronic timecards, the sheriff’s office said. Duarte was placed on administrative leave, and relieved of his duties.

An investigation allegedly discovered that Duarte had modified his electronic timecards to include overtime hours that he didn’t actually work, the sheriff’s office said. The scheme allegedly dated back to Nov. 2017, and resulted in a payout of over $20,000.

The sheriff’s office said an “employment termination process has been initiated” against Duarte after charges were filed.

Duarte is being held at the Lake County Jail on $200,000 bond, and is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.