A former Skokie Police officer admitted he stole $450 in bail money because he was struggling financially while working in the north suburb, Cook County prosecutors said Thursday.
Mitchell Smaller, 36, lost his job as a result of his alleged actions two years ago and is now facing official misconduct charges.
In addition to stealing the money in 2015, Smaller also failed to submit the police report of the two incidents from which he pocketed the cash, Assistant State’s Attorney Ahmed Kosoko said.
After Smaller arrested someone for retail theft and another person posted $150 bail on May 9, 2015, Smaller took the cash, Kosoko said.
He allegedly did the same thing when he arrested a motorist on May 24, 2015, and a passenger posted $300. The woman who posted bail even told an independent administrator that Smaller had driven her to an ATM machine so she could get the money, Kosoko said.
Skokie Police officials were alerted to the missing money by an employee in the Cook County Clerk’s office in June 2015, Kosoko said.
When the arrest files were noticed in Smaller’s mailbox, he admitted he took the money because he was in “financial peril,” Kosoko said. Smaller returned the cash, according to prosecutors.
Smaller, of Buffalo Grove, works in sales for a major food company, his attorney, Daniel Herbert, told Judge James Brown.
He is a Wheeling High School and Roosevelt University grad and had served the Skokie Police Department for 11 years before his termination, the defense attorney added.
Brown released Smaller on his own recognizance.