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Niles North security director resigns after theft arrest

Jim DiJohn / phofrom Skokie police

Jim DiJohn / photo from Skokie police

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Updated: September 10, 2013 2:00PM

The security director of a north suburban high school resigned Monday after being arrested and charged with stealing electronic equipment from the school and selling it online.

Skokie police said Tuesday that Jim DiJohn, security director at Niles North High School, stole numerous electronic items belonging to District 219 over an unknown period of time, and sold some of the items on his personal eBay account. He is charged with felony theft.

The stolen items, which police said were worth more than $500 and less than $10,000, included portable radios, earpieces, chargers and radio accessories. Additional charges are pending, Skokie police officer Joe Marzigliano said.

DiJohn, 56, of the 6100 block of North Keystone in Chicago, had worked for District 219 since August 2000, but school officials did not say how long he had been security director.

A statement released Friday by the district said DiJohn had been suspended without pay; on Monday, he officially resigned.

District 219 declined to provide further details, pending the ongoing investigation.

“Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our students and staff members,” D219 Supt. Nanciann Gatta said in a statement released Monday. “We have an interim director of security, and all of the important services our security staff provides to our school community will continue uninterrupted.”

Security staff provide around-the-clock building security at Niles Township high schools, oversee residency verification for students, administer student lockers and parking, and maintain safe movement of students throughout the schools, the statement said.

The director of security supervises security staff at Niles North. Responsibilities include overseeing school security, maintaining safe movement of the students through the day and at extracurricular activities, maintaining the lock and entry systems, staff and student swipe card systems, student lockers and parking.

“The alleged actions of one person do not define our security department, which includes so many good people who work hard on behalf our students,” Niles North principal Ryan McTague said in the statement. “Nor do those actions diminish our shared commitment to the students and families of our community.”

DiJohn, who is free on a $10,000 individual recognizance bond, is next scheduled to appear in court Sept. 17 in Skokie.

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