Mt. Vernon Register-News

March 7, 2013

Shaw pleads guilty to theft charge


MT. VERNON — — A Jefferson County highway worker has been placed on one year of probation and ordered to pay restitution after pleading guilty to a theft charge.

Michael S. Shaw, 42, of Mt. Vernon, was employed by the State of Illinois as a highway maintainer for the Illinois Department of Transportation in 2011. He entered the plea of guilty to theft less than $500, a Class A misdemeanor after originally being charged with theft between $500 and $10,000 of a school, house of worship and/or government, a Class 2 felony.

Court records state on Aug. 15, 2011, Shaw took control of scrap metal from the state being valued at more than $300. He was also charged at the time with two counts of official misconduct, although those charges were dismissed, along with two other Class 2 felony charges of theft over $500.

Judge David Overstreet also sentenced Shaw to 10 consecutive weekends in jail and to make restitution of $2,139 to the State of Illinois for the scrap metal. Shaw was ordered to pay total fines of $3,576, including the restitution, and has paid $2,500 toward the fines and fees, according to an online court source. Court records state that if the balance is paid by May 24 — the date of a pay or appear hearing — Shaw will not be required to attend the hearing.

Special Prosecutor David Rands prosecuted the case. Shaw was represented by Sean Featherstun.

A co-defendant in the case, 42-year-old Bradley J. Peterson of Waltonville, is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Peterson is charged with the theft of government property, a Class 2 felony. He is also charged with official misconduct and obstructing justice — the latter charge the result of providing false information to an Illinois State Police trooper in that Peterson denied receiving money from Shaw on Sept. 9, 2011.

Shaw received $50,000 in wages from the IDOT in 2011, and received $20,770 through April 2012, according to a state web site.