A grand jury approved charges Tuesday against two LaSalle County government employees. Tori Artman, 44, and Pamela Wright, 54, are charged with conspiracy to commit theft upon a governmental entity, theft of government property in the $500 to $10,000 range, and official misconduct. The incidents occurred or began on October 24, 2016 according to the court records currently available.
Artman was served a warrant toward the end of the work day Tuesday and posted $1,000 bond to be let out of the LaSalle County jail. As of this posting, the jail’s records didn’t indicate that Wright had been there. Artman and Wright are employees of the LaSalle County Auditor’s office.
From one of the county’s web sites, “The County Auditor examines all bills, reimbursements, and requests for payment made by the various county departments. These requests for payment are audited for accuracy and legitimacy, making sure there is a hands-on review of all monies spent.” To make sure its own auditors who work day-to-day are up to the task, LaSalle County also hires an accounting firm to review the bookkeeping once per year as an independent or “outside” auditor.
Besides elected Auditor Jody Wilkinson, Artman and Wright are the office’s only full time employees. Artman’s pay according to the county’s 2018 compensation report is $50.693.20 plus about $21,000 in health insurance coverage. Her pay was $46.488.00 for 2017 and $46,486.22 for 2016. Wright’s pay is $49,151.86 plus about $7,000 in health insurance benefits for 2018. Her 2017 pay was $44,387.20 and her 2016 pay was $44,287.86. For Artman and Wright, health insurance coverage costs didn’t change substantially during the previous three years.
Court records available Tuesday show that a LaSalle County assistant state’s attorney presented the case to the grand jury.