A former Lake County deputy coroner took a plea deal this week and was sentenced to probation for recording herself telling a child that their family member died in a vehicle crash. Dana A. Dingman, 37, of the 100 block of Station Park Circle in Grayslake, was indicted last July on charges of official misconduct, a Class 3 felony, and two counts of eavesdropping by use of a device, a Class 4 felony.
The Lake County Coroner’s Office said in a statement in July that their administration located a video on April 23, 2021, on Dingman’s county-owned laptop. The video depicted Dingman, who was working as a deputy coroner at the time, conducting a death notification to a family member of a victim.
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Lake County Sheriff’s Office After Dingman’s computer hard drive had the video, he put it there. It’s not clear why the woman took a picture of the encounter and kept it. Jennifer Banek, the Lake County Coroner, said she called the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office right away when she found out about the death.
In this case, both the state’s attorney and the sheriff’s office opened an investigation. My jaw dropped when I saw this video. Banek: “There is no reason for the employee in question to have broken the public’s trust by secretly filming them at such an emotional and private time,” he said last year.
“Finding out that a loved one has died is one of the worst things that can happen to a family,” she said. “Our staff is supposed to do their jobs with the utmost care, respect, and compassion.”e Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said Dingman was notifying a 16-year-old boy that a family member of his had died in a motorcycle crash.
The video appeared to have been taken from Dingman’s cell phone in July 2018 without the consent of the other parties involved. The coroner’s office thinks this is a one-time thing that happened only to Dingman. The people who were affected by the investigation were called and told about it. Dingman lost his job at the coroner’s office last June.
Dingman at first said he didn’t want to be charged with anything, court records show. In a deal with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, Dingman agreed to plead guilty on Wednesday. It was a Class 4 felony, but she agreed to plead guilty in exchange for her two other charges being dropped.
Dingman was put on probation for 12 months and had to do 30 hours of service for the public. This is a program for first-time offenders who don’t want to go to prison. She was also put in the Felony Alternative Prosecution Program. Dingman will be able to keep the conviction off of her record if she completes the program.
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