Danville schools' food director accused of stealing thousands from district

Danville schools' food director accused of stealing thousands from district

DANVILLE — A recently-suspended Danville schools director is facing criminal charges for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from the district.

On Friday, Gregory A. Lazzell was formally charged in Vermilion County Circuit Court on one count of theft of government property between $10,000 and $100,000, a Class 1 felony, and one count of official misconduct, a Class 3 felony.

The 51-year-old Danville man also faces five counts of intimidation, also a Class 3 felony.

Vermilion County State's Attorney Jacqueline Lacy said the alleged theft was discovered in the last few months through "a combined effort between the school district and a Danville police investigation."

Lacy declined to give details about the offense. However, she did say it occurred "over a course of several years."

She added the investigation is still ongoing.

Lazzell is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 5. He is free after posting $10,000, or 10 percent of his $100,000 bond.

If convicted of theft, he could be sentenced to four to 15 years in prison or probation. If convicted of official misconduct, he could be sentenced to two to five years in prison or probation.

Lazzell began running the food service department in April 2011. He was making an annual salary of $78,195.

This past Wednesday, the Danville school board voted unanimously to put Lazzell on unpaid leave, pending a dismissal hearing. That hearing is set for 5:30 p.m. next Wednesday.

At the meeting, Danville schools Superintendent Alicia Geddis and board President Bill Dobbles declined to comment on the reason for Lazzell's suspension at that time, saying it was a personnel matter.

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honeydont1984 wrote on September 15, 2017 at 2:09 pm

You're kidding right? How are people supposed to teach their children to be honest when we have this sort of greed and graft going on practically everywhere in everything including our schools? A great example of public service huh? This guy, if found guilty, should be placed in stocks in the public square for people to mock, humiliate, and spit at. Ditto with the bankers, lawyers, teachers, doctors, and other so called pillars of the community who have no shame. These folks are making good money, get all kinds of benefits, often only work a portion of the year since schools are closed for several months and yet it's not enough. They have to steal more. What a tragedy. It used to be if you were caught doing this sort of thing you not only went to jail, you were done as a professional. Now it's a slap on the wrist and just send the problem down the road to another unwitting community. Unbelieveable! What scum.

Sincerely,

Henry 

Bwp 5P wrote on September 15, 2017 at 4:09 pm

WOW! Knocking down nearly $80k/year....and still on the take!!!

 

Sort of sounds Greedy!!! Sad Deal for Him and his Family!

Notsoaveragejoe wrote on September 15, 2017 at 10:09 pm

Give him his day in court and if he's guilty, send him to prison. What a lowlife.

aantulov wrote on September 19, 2017 at 9:09 am

He is not convicted yet.  It could just be sloppy bookeeping or a something as simple as a company sending samples used for meetings.  Until you know....you don't.

But one should note that food contracts for public schools,  etc is a field with little competion and there is always a problem with monopoly.   

Perhaps the news gazette could be encouraged to photograph what is offered in our schools and publish contract bids, and bid dates.  Perhaps others may be encouraged to enter the field.