Former County Surveyor Faces Prison Sentence

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February 13, 2015 — Sharon Jackson, Lakeshore Public Radio — Former Lake County Surveyor George Van Til was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in federal prison for making his former employees do his campaign work on county time.

Judge James Moody also ordered Van Til to serve three years on supervised release after he leaves prison and pay more than $26,000 in restitution to Lake County.

Attorneys for the government and Van Til spent much of the day wrangling over the amount lost by Van Til having employees do political work on government time.

According to the “Times,” FBI Special Agent Nate Holbrook said in court that South Shore Conventions and Visitors Authority CEO Speros Batistatos called him on June 19th, 2012 while he was on his way to a White Sox game and expressed concern that Van Til was having Surveyor’s office employees doing his campaign work on county time.

Highland Clerk-Treasurer Michael Griffin was one of a number of local politicians and others who wrote letters in support of Van Til.  The “Times” reports that Griffin testified at the sentencing hearing that Van Til supported him early in his career and was also a supporter of Lake County becoming a member of the Shared Ethics Advisory Commission. He said he never thought he would find Van Til in the situation he was in Thursday.


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