Retired superintendent charged with theft from suburban district’s charity

CALUMET CITY, Ill. -- A retired school superintendent is charged with stealing $10,000 from a south suburban school district`s charitable foundation.

Raymond LaPorte, 74, retired as a school superintendent in Beecher in 2003 and has continued to work in education.

For several years he worked as a paid consultant for Hoover-Schrum Memorial School District 157 in Calumet City.

He’s accused of stealing from the district’s charitable foundation that he helped to create.

Some of the foundation’s money came from selling bricks at Schrum Middle School. It was an effort to raise funds for mini grants for innovative teachers and cover field trip costs for low income students.

In bond court today, prosecutors said LaPorte stole nearly $10,000 from the foundation, with more than 30 cash withdrawals between July 2016 and June of last year, when he left the district on his own.

The following month, Superintendent Donald McKinney says the foundation’s board received a bank statement showing most of the money that should have been in the account was gone.

“Changes have already been put in place to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” McKinney told WGN News. “There was a lot of trust placed in this man, unwarranted trust unfortunately.”

LaPorte’s defense attorney Huma Rashid says they were taken aback by the charges. She says LaPorte has devoted his life to education and they’ll do whatever they can to keep this from marring his otherwise unblemished record.