What Happened with the Reward Money in Maywood’s Tom Wood Case?

Village officials say the $100,000 reward evaporated—but did they check with the bank?

As the search for Maywood Police Officer Tom Wood’s killer grew cold, a second mystery simmered: What happened to the reward money?

In the months following Wood’s murder, news accounts detailed a growing pot of money for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect. West suburban law enforcement agencies pledged $10,000. A crime scene clean-up company kicked in another $10,000.

But by far the biggest contribution came from the now-defunct Park National Bank of Maywood. Former CEO Michael E. Kelly pledged $100,000, with the expectation the Village of Maywood would match part of the reward. But he said Maywood never coughed up the money. “It kind of got hung up in the bureaucracy, and it never came together,” Kelly recalled. “The village never came forward.” Still, flyers promising a $100,000 reward went up all over Maywood and surrounding communities, with the help of the FBI.

In 2009, Park National folded, and its assets were taken over by U.S. Bank of Minneapolis. Maywood Police Chief Tim Curry said he was told by Kelly and others that, because of the turnover in banks, the $100,000 reward was gone. And he added that, as a result, he tore down the posters as he saw them.

In late May, FOX Chicago and the Better Government Association contacted U.S. Bank to ask about the reward. The next day, a bank representative called to say the reward money is still intact. “U.S. Bank is a good corporate citizen,” said spokeswoman Nicole Garrison-Sprenger. “We’ve acquired several banks over the past couple years, and it’s been our practice to honor those community commitments where possible.”

Garrison-Sprenger said as far as she knew no one from Maywood ever called to ask whether the reward would be honored.

Curry acknowledged that perhaps he didn’t speak to the right folks.

Tom Wood’s brother, Daniel, wondered whether somebody with information about the homicide might have come forward, had village officials known about—and publicized—the reward. “It makes me very angry that [the money] is sitting there right now and Curry or Maywood knew nothing about it,” he said.

Meanwhile, after FOX Chicago and the BGA began looking into the case, the village board allocated $10,000 toward the reward effort. In total, at least $130,000 has been pledged for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Tom Wood’s killer.

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2 years ago
Posted by another Maywood Resident

Another Maywood Resident.......

Thank you Chicago Magazine and BGA / Fox for the coverage. There are those in the town who have said they did not care for it because it displayed the town's dirty laundry. It's an attitude that seems to plague towns where the leadership is black and to a lesser degree Hispanic. I say hog wash! Corruption where ever it exists, regardless of color, needs and should be rooted out.

I am left with the thought: is this due to political influence, racism or class, that authorities such as Judy Bar Topinka and Anita Alvarez are not compelled to do their jobs? Their offices seem to be unconcerned about the long suffering plight of a majority - minority municipality. If this were River Forest or No. Riverside (their towns) would they tolerate this type of abuse, neglect and illegal behavior?! You show me a town where crime exists and I will show you a town where the police are crooks and the administration is corrupt!

• Who allows the president of a town to vote on an economic development project (e.g.; the grocery store and the Baptist Retirement Home) that personally benefits him and his family?!

• Who allows a trustee of a town to vote on police fire and pension issues when they personally benefit?!

• In a town of 24,000, why is there a law firm paid in the millions of dollars?

• The people of the town voted to consolidate all parks into the existing Maywood Park District (separate tax district) and to convey all buildings and land immediately; 4 years and waiting!

• $1million dollars later we still have an unfinished Park District Building with no indication when, if ever, it will be open!
• How does a local HUD sponsored housing agency (with board members appointed by the Mayor of the Village of Maywood) guilty of corruption, resulting in the termination of the Executive Director for thousands of dollars in theft, still exist and not be taken over by HUD?!

• Why has there been no annual report regarding the use of Tiff Funds?
The hard working citizens of this town deserve better.

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