Chicago local news

Former Westchester finance director charged with fraud

Former Westchester finance director charged with fraud

Cook County prosecutors have charged a former Westchester employee with hacking into the village manager’s email in an attempt to boost her salary.

Trina Circelli, who was fired in the fall after an investigation by Westchester officials, pleaded not guilty on Monday to four counts of official misconduct and two counts each of computer fraud and computer tampering, court records indicate.

Circelli was spotted by a village employee entering the village hall on a Saturday in September, prompting police to review surveillance footage that allegedly shows her entering the building and the village manager’s office.

A review of computer records showed the manager’s email account was accessed, and a sent message to Circelli offering her a salary of $110,000 for the finance director’s job had been deleted, prosecutors said. An attachment to the email, detailing Circelli’s salary also was allegedly deleted and altered to list her salary at $125,000. A printed copy of the letter, signed by the manager, was removed from a file folder in his office and replaced with an unsigned version with the inflated salary, prosecutors said.

When Circelli was given notice she was going to be fired in October, she had a lawyer demand back pay, claiming she had been underpaid based on the fraudulent letter, court records show