The former treasurer of the McHenry Firefighters Association, who was also a firefighter, has been sentenced to conditional discharge for stealing over $40,000 in funds from the non-profit organization.
John A. Kuhl, 55, of Crystal Lake, was charged in November 2021 with one count of theft, a Class 2 felony, and one count of using a debit card with the intent to defraud, a Class 4 felony.
A grand jury later indicted Kuhl on a single count of theft, a Class 2 felony.
Police said at the time that Kuhl stole from the McHenry Firefighters Association, which is a separate entity from the McHenry Township Fire Protection District and is a not-for-profit organization.
The association is separated into two branches, one where members of the fire department pay dues and the other conducts fundraising for local charities and scholarships.
The fire association filed a report with police on October 19, 2021, after finding discrepancies with their bank accounts, according to McHenry Deputy Police Chief Thomas Walsh.
Funds had been withdrawn from the association’s fraternal account without authorization between April 2019 and September 2021, Walsh said.
The McHenry Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division conducted an extensive investigation.
Walsh said that evidence showed Kuhl, who was the association’s treasurer, withdrew over $40,000 in funds belonging to the McHenry Firefighters Association without authorization.
Kuhl was arrested without incident by the McHenry Police Department on November 5, 2021.
In a statement, the McHenry Township Fire Protection District said they were aware of the allegations against Kuhl, who was a part-time firefighter/paramedic for the district at the time.
Kuhl was placed on unpaid administrative leave and now no longer works for the department, fire officials said.
Kuhl was processed at the police department and released after posting 10% of his $40,000 bond.
Court records show Kuhl pleaded guilty to his single charge on Tuesday as part of a plea agreement.
McHenry County Judge James Cowlin sentenced Kuhl to two years of conditional discharge, which is less intensive than probation.
Kuhl was also ordered to pay back the money he stole in the amount of $41,371.63 to the association as restitution.
Kuhl will also be required to perform 75 hours of public service and write apology letters to the fire district and fire association.