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.