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SHERIFF'S OFFICE INITIATES CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION INTO EMPLOYEE

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012 —After receiving credible information that an employee may have stolen from a home while serving an eviction, the Cook County Sheriff's Office swiftly initiated an internal investigation which resulted in Federal charges being levied today against the employee.

Today the U.S. Attorney's Office charged Samuel J. Spino, 35, of Willowbrook, with theft. Spino is a Deputy with the Sheriff's Evictions Unit where he has worked for past 6 years, after serving 4 years in Courts Services.

In April, the Cook County Sheriff's Office received credible information that Spino, while serving an eviction at the residence, may have taken property from the location. After quickly reviewing the information and relaying it to the Sheriff's Office of Professional Review (OPR), a more thorough internal investigation was initiated and promptly completed. At that point, a request was made by the Cook County Sheriff's Office to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the U.S. Attorney's Office for assistance.

On May 3rd an eviction was completed, with Spino in attendance, at a residence that had previously been wired with cameras to review the actions of those involved. It was at this location that Spino was seen taking the property that had been strategically placed by the FBI.

This morning the Cook County Sheriff's Office, the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office, worked together to take Spino into custody without incident.

If convicted, Spino faces maximum potential penalties of 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. Spino appeared in Federal court today, May 8th.

The indictment is an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. Today the Cook County Sheriff's Office de-deputized Spino, which included removing his badge and weapon.

"I have set very high standards for this office and because of that we take immediate action when allegations such as these are brought to our attention," said Sheriff Thomas J. Dart. "Overall, the employees of the Cook County Sheriff's Office are incredibly upstanding citizens who strive to enforce the law, so I take very seriously any situation which threatens to compromise the integrity of our operations."

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