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Crime & Courts

Former food pantry director's husband pleads guilty to theft, gets probation

Spaeth will repay the food pantry more than $14,000 in restitution per the ruling

The husband of the former Kendall County Food Pantry director pleaded guilty to felony theft in a Kendall County courtroom Monday afternoon as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

Kenneth Spaeth, who was accused of stealing from the food pantry’s funds, pleaded guilty to Class 3 felony theft, and must repay the food pantry $14,342. Spaeth must also serve 24 months of probation and perform 30 hours of community service, according to the plea agreement agreed to by Spaeth, his attorney Edward Edens, and special prosecutor Chuck Colburn.

Spaeth must also pay fees and court costs, per the agreement.

“I would add that this disposition is with the consent and agreement of the Kendall County Food Pantry,” Colburn said.

The parties appeared before Judge Timothy McCann at the courthouse in Yorkville.

Spaeth served as the treasurer of the Kendall County Food Pantry and his wife, Maria Spaeth, served as its director until June of 2016, when a search warrant was served on the pantry. Both Spaeths resigned from their positions shortly thereafter, and Maria Spaeth was found dead of a prescription drug overdose at the family’s home in Lake Holiday weeks later.

Maria Spaeth’s father, William Crowley of Arizona, is also facing charges alleging he, too, stole money from the pantry’s coffers.

McCann set the next hearing date for Crowley as April 23 at 1 p.m.

The food pantry reorganized in the summer of 2016, adopting new board members and changing the name to the Kendall County Community Food Pantry. The organization is still based out of a building at 208 Beaver St. in Yorkville.

In related news, the food pantry board is suing Crowley in civil court for the alleged use of the food pantry credit card.

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