A former Joliet Park District finance director charged with misusing a park district credit card on a baseball games and concerts was able to avoid jail after he surrendered himself to police and posted a $10,000 bond for his release from custody.
At noon Thursday, Matt Pehle was placed into custody after he turned himself into the Joliet Police Department on felony charges of continuing financial crimes enterprise, Joliet police Sgt. Dwayne English said.
The indictment identifies 24 credit card expenditures ranging from a $101.56 unspecified purchase related to The Avett Brothers rock band, to $697 spent on the Chicago Symphony. Also listed are four separate purchases related to the Chicago Cubs ranging from $384 to $515.— Indictment against Matt Pehle
Pehle was released after posting a $10,000 cash bond, English said.
An indictment against Pehle identified tickets for Cubs games, the musical “Hamilton,” and the Chicago Symphony among assorted purchases made on a park district credit card.
Pehle was finance director at the park district from April 2013 to December 2019.
The investigation that led to Pehle’s arrest began at 10:36 a.m. Jan. 12, when officers responded to the Joliet Park District, 3000 W. Jefferson St., for a report of a theft, English said.
Park officials reported that between April 2013 until December 2019, they believed that Pehle had “executed multiple unauthorized purchases” with a park district credit card that was not related to park district business, English said.
English said an “extensive investigation” was initiated by the police department’s investigation division, which resulted in an indictment on May 3.
After Pehle left his job as the park district’s finance director, he became chief financial officer of the Forest Preserve District of Will County. He was put on leave from that position in January 2021, as reports of the park district investigation surfaced. He was eventually terminated.
The indictment identifies 24 credit card expenditures ranging from a $101.56 unspecified purchase related to The Avett Brothers rock band, to $697 spent on the Chicago Symphony. Also listed are four separate purchases related to the Chicago Cubs ranging from $384 to $515.
Two separate counts list $602 of unspecified purchases spent on “Star Wars” on June 6, 2018, which was around the time “Star Wars” Day took place in downtown Joliet.
Other expenditures include to an Airbnb, Six Flags Great America and an unspecified $282 purchase related to Bob Dylan.
The last purchase, on Nov. 13, 2019, is listed as a “Beer Temple purchase for $132.20.” There is a craft beer store with a tap room in Chicago called The Beer Temple.