Illinois school administrator pleads guilty to disorderly conduct against teacher | State and Region

A Belleville school administrator has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct after being accused of sending underwear and a sex toy to a teacher.

A second disorderly conduct charge was dismissed against Justin Ballou, chief technology officer for Whiteside School District 115, as part of a plea deal.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Associate Judge Elaine LeChien sentenced Ballou to one year probation Thursday, the day his bench trial was scheduled to begin. He is also ordered to pay $514 in fines and court costs.

Ballou could not be reached for comment on Monday. His Glen Carbon attorney, KT Taplin, declined to comment.

Nicole Webster, the Whiteside Middle School teacher who complained about Ballou’s actions last spring, said Monday she was “disappointed” with the process and the outcome of the case.

“I really believe that’s why many, many women don’t come forward and report things like that,” she said. “(The perpetrators) won’t be charged with much. Is it worth it?”

Webster is a seventh grade special education teacher.

A St. Clair County judge granted him a no contact order against Ballou in March. It is similar to a protection order, but is used in cases involving parties with no domestic relationship.

In Webster’s order request, she cited three incidents, including receiving two packages at her home, one with a fictitious return address containing Victoria’s Secret panties and the other with a ball gag; and four chandelier bulbs placed in her school mailbox.

Webster said she was interviewed multiple times by a detective from the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department after filing a complaint, but no one from the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office told her. had contacted about the case before or after the plea deal.

Webster said she called the state’s attorney’s office on Oct. 14, asking what was going on, and a representative told her, “There would be several more meetings before anything was done. finalized.”

Two appeals from the BND to the state’s attorney’s office were not returned on Monday.

“We were told at the beginning that (Ballou’s accusation) could be a crime,” Webster said. “Then the harassment escalated to disorderly conduct. It was like, ‘Anything we can do to minimize it. “”

Ballou was charged in April with two counts of disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and a fine of $1,500 plus court costs.

The Whiteside School Board had placed Ballou on paid administrative leave and then unpaid leave in March. He is still listed as chief technology officer on the district’s website and on his personal LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

Superintendent Mark Heuring could not be reached for comment on Monday. School is out for the Christmas holidays.

Webster said she plans to attend the next school board meeting to see what happens with Ballou’s work. The no-contact order, which remains in effect until April 5, 2023, does not prohibit him from working for the district, as long as he remains within 500 feet of her.

“I won’t let him chase me away,” Webster said. “I’ve been here for 18 years. I just feel like the way it was handled, not by my manager, but by the superintendent, was, ‘Let’s minimize it. Let’s not talk about it. “”

Martha K. Merrill