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Federal prosecutors drop charges against ailing former school superintendent in Illinois

June 28, 2024
Lawrence Wyllie, 85, who led Lincoln-Way District 210 from 1989 to 2013, was facing charges that he misspent millions of dollars of district funds.

Federal prosecutors have dismissed fraud charges against former Lincoln-Way (Illinois) District 210 Superintendent Lawrence Wyllie, who was accused of misspending millions in bond proceeds and using district funds on personal projects.

Prosecutors cited Wyllie’s on going health problems that have resulted in the case being continued for years as attorneys said he was unable to assist with his defense.

The case against Wyllie, who was District 210 superintendent from 1989 to 2013, dates to September 2017, came after an investigation exposed questionable financial practices at Lincoln-Way. 

Federal prosecutors filed the motion to dismiss the case after receiving medical records and other updated information about 85-year-old Wyllie’s health.

“Based on a review of those materials, the government seeks dismissal of the indictment because defendant’s various medical conditions are significant enough that the parties agree defendant cannot meaningfully contribute to his defense in this matter,” said the motion, signed by acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Morris Pasqual.

As leader of Lincoln-Way, which serves high school students from New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan and Tinley Park, Wyllie oversaw the district’s expansion from one to four campuses.

The building of new schools ate up district cash reserves after it issued $204 million in bonds between 2006 and 2009. Prosecutors said at the time Wyllie was indicted that he fraudulently used bonds to cover up the district’s true financial state. To cut expenses, the school board was forced to close Lincoln-Way North High School in Frankfort.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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