Highway worker indicted for alleged theft still on payroll

A Rock Island County highway worker accused of stealing from taxpayers is still being paid his $61,000 a year salary, while the case winds its way though the court system.

Jim Geiger, 57, is charged with felony theft and misconduct for allegedly taking property and fuel from the highway department for his own personal use. He was indicted by a grand jury in July.

On Thursday, Geiger’s attorney Steve Hanna asked Judge Walter BraudĀ  for more time to decide if his client will stand trial or consider a plea deal.

In the meantime, States Attorney John McGehee says Geiger is still being paid while on leave from the job.

“It’s my understanding he is on administrative leave and he is being paid by the county”, McGehee said after court.

Judge Braud granted the 60-day continuance, but told Hanna it would be the last delay, and scheduled a trial for January 13.

“What the judge said today in court, he said this case will not be continued again and I will be ready to go to trial in January if the defendant wants to take this to trial”, McGehee said.

Hanna says he and his client need time to weigh their legal options and review state’s evidence.

“We want to do a little investigation of our own and flesh out some of the issues and get more facts and details. Talk to some of the witnesses”, Hanna said. “See what evidence is there. If it’s not there, we may take it to trial”.

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