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URBANA — A second man believed to be involved in the theft of cash from parking meters on the University of Illinois campus is expected to appear in court today.

UI police Lt. Tom Geis said Michael Ward, 38, who listed an address on Persimmon Drive, Champaign, was arrested Thursday on preliminary charges of official misconduct and conspiracy, but he declined to be interviewed by detectives.

Geis said police took a closer look at Ward when they were investigating James D. Dorris, 63, who was charged last week with official misconduct and theft for allegedly stealing hundreds of dollars in coins from parking meters between October 2016 and last month.

Both men were employed in the parking division and had duties that included emptying cash from meters, Geis said.

"Information revealed through interviews with Dorris led us to believe Ward was involved in taking money," he said, declining to specify how the men were able to defeat security mechanisms.

Police found a 5-gallon jug of coins at Dorris' house last week that he admitted stealing from meters.

Geis said it's not clear how long Ward allegedly took money or how much.

Ward had been an employee of the parking division since January 2011, according to the UI.

"We continue to investigate and work with university units to protect the university's assets," Geis said.

Dorris was released on his own recognizance last week and is due back in court June 25.


Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).