Port Byron Official Being Investigated

PORT BYRON – The Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department is investigating Public Works Director Rick Kessler for allegedly stealing 10 to 12 pieces of city equipment. Mayor Bob Wilson has since suspended Kessler from his position.

Wilson suspended Kessler Thursday morning. On April 11th, the city filed a complaint with the Sheriff’s Department saying that pieces of city equipment had gone missing.The equipment is reportedly worth about $2,000. The Sheriff’s Department has recovered two of the missing items.

“He’s been busy taking care of the town the past few years, but apparently he’s been taking care of other things as well,” Port Byron resident David Killinger said of Kessler.

The Port Byron resident is also a board member for the Riverdale School District. News 8 talked to Kessler Friday. He says he’s been wrongly accused in the incident.

“The case in Dixon may have woken them up to this,” Rock Island County Sheriff Jeff Boyd said about the investigation. “I would hope that [Port Byron watches over this kind of thing] just like any other entity.”

The complaint did come into the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department before news broke of the investigation into Dixon official Rita Crundwell. Port Byron is holding a special board of trustees meeting Monday at 7 p.m. to discuss the matter.