Michelle and Charles Sopko are still in custody after a hearing to determine the source of their bail funds was delayed because Cook County inmates are not being transported to courthouses in the extreme weather conditions.
Each defendants' lawyer was set to present witnesses that would offer the judge proof that the funds used to post 10 percent of the $100,000 bail amount came from reputable sources, and not stolen funds.
The Sopkos are charged with embezzling just over $350,000 from the Palos Heights Fire Protection District. The crime is a Class X felony. Michelle Sopko was a part-time employee of the district during the alleged embezzlement scheme. Prosecutors say she deposited the stolen money into a joint bank account she shared with her husband, Oak Forest Dep. Fire Chief Charles Sopko
Read: Prosecutor Describes Palos Heights Fire Employee's 'Complicated Scheme to Embezzle'
John Eannace, who represents Michelle Sopko, and Jason Danielian, Charles Sopko's lawyer, said they would have to wait until the Cook County Sheriff's Office resumed transportation of prisoners. With temperatures expected to remain subzero tomorrow, when that will be is up in the frozen air.
The courtroom of Judge Kerry Kennedy had a brisk atmosphere as cases were passed until imprisoned individuals could be taken to court.
Read More on the Sopko Case
- Former Palos Heights Fire Protection District Employee Accused of Embezzling $350,000