Target of Sauk Village embezzlement probe arrested for drugs


Chuck Goudie Image
Thursday, January 7, 2016
I-Team: Sauk Village treasurer
I-TEAM: The Sauk Village treasurer is being investigated for embezzlement.

SAUK VILLAGE, Ill. (WLS) -- The treasurer for suburban Sauk Village was arrested this past weekend for drug possession, but the I-Team has learned that he is also the target of an embezzlement investigation.

Now, the man who signs checks in south suburban Sauk Village faces felony drug charges in Will County.

James Griegel, 71, was driving his 1990 Pontiac Sunfire in Steger at 9:30 p.m. An officer pulled him over because his license plate light wasn't working. According to a police report obtained by the I-Team, Griegel appeared "very nervous" and made several inconsistent statements. He finally blurted out "Okay, I have two bags of heroin."

Police said he admitted buying drugs "two to three times a week" for his girlfriend, delivering the heroin in exchange for sex.

He was arrested and sent to the Will County Jail, but since released on bond.

Leess than three years ago, Griegel raised his right hand and swore to uphold the law, as treasurer of Sauk Village.

But oddly, since then, he hasn't attended a single town meeting, according to village records.

He now faces a wider investigation of possible financial misconduct, the I-Team has learned.

Robert Kowalski, the Sauk Village police chief, said they have found a possible misappropriation of funds from the police pension fund.

"Just looking through an audit, cursory review of the instruments that he uses in his day-to-day operations with the police pension fund, that's how we found some alleged misappropriation of funds," Kowalski said. "We have contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the States Attorney's office. We're just waiting for a response to them."

Griegel did not return a phone message.

He has been suspended without pay from his treasurer post and seat on the pension board.

At his house, his son declined comment, saying: "I have no comment and I would appreciate it if you guys don't come around here anymore."