A former school superintendent accused of stealing from a suburban Chicago district's education foundation has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Indiana home.
The Daily Southtown reports that Raymond LaPorte, 74, was pronounced dead at about 12:15 p.m. Friday after emergency personnel were dispatched to his home in Dyer, Ind.
Lake County, Ind., Chief Deputy Coroner Scott Sefton ruled that LaPorte's death was a suicide.
LaPorte appeared last week in a Cook County, Ill., court to face a felony theft charge. He allegedly stole nearly $10,000 from the Hoover-Schrum Memorial School District 157 Education Foundation in Calumet City, Ill. A judge released LaPorte on his own recognizance.
LaPorte served as the superintendent for the Beecher (Ill.) School District 200-U for 10 years until his retirement in 2003. He had worked for several years for District 157 as a paid consultant and was under contract with District 157 until June 2017. He also served as unpaid treasurer for the foundation, which he helped set up.
The thefts took place from July 2016 to June 2017, prosecutors say. An audit was conducted after the foundation president noticed abnormal payments. The audit determined that LaPorte made out 34 cash withdrawal slips for a foundation bank account, prosecutors said.
The foundation raises money for classroom expenses and covers the cost of field trips for low-income students.