SYCAMORE – Former DeKalb Alderman Michael Marquardt pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to charges of forgery and theft of thousands of dollars from his former employer, Kishwaukee Country Club.
Marquardt was charged Dec. 21. If convicted, he could face probation or two to five years in prison. Judge Philip Montgomery said he would not accept a deal that would lead to the charges being dropped in exchange for rehabilitation exercises such as counseling, community service or good behavior.
“I’ll make one thing clear: I won’t be accepting a diversion offer,” Montgomery said during the hearing Tuesday.
Assistant State’s Attorney Brooks Locke told Montgomery that officials at the country club still are looking over the books to make sure there weren’t more losses than originally thought. Marquardt’s eyebrows raised and his brow furrowed when he heard that.
Court records show DeKalb County prosecutors allege that between December 2017 and November 2018, Marquardt wrote seven checks from the country club to himself totaling $9,500. The records allege Marquardt forged club President Stephen Irving’s name on the checks. According to charging documents, Marquardt wrote a check for $3,000 Dec. 26, 2017; $2,000 Jan. 22, 2018; $1,000 June 6; $2,000 Sept. 5; $750 Nov. 21; $250 Nov. 26 and $500 Nov. 28.
Marquardt was the business manager at the country club, 1901 Sycamore Road, DeKalb. He resigned from the City Council and left his job at the club in December.
Joyce Stupegia was appointed to the vacated seat on the council at the end of last year. Former City Clerk Steve Kapitan and DeKalb police officer Tracy Smith are running to fill the seat.
In the past six years, Marquardt has been a defendant in several cases in county court brought by creditors, including foreclosure cases against his home and another property he owns in the city.
Since he was elected to the council in April 2015, he has been a defendant in three different small-claims cases brought by collection agencies seeking payment of debts of less than $2,000 each. The most recent of those cases was closed in August 2017, according to court records.
Another case, brought in 2016 against Marquardt by Discover Bank – which issues the Discover credit card – sought payment of almost $15,000 in unpaid credit-card debt, records show. The unpaid amount increased to almost $16,600 in 2017, with a judge in July 2017 ordering garnishment of Marquardt’s wages to repay the debt, records show.
He’s due back in court at 9 a.m. May 13.
• Daily Chronicle reporter Kelsey Rettke contributed to this story