U of I Band Director Quits Amid Theft Investigation


 Robert Rumbelow, University of Illinois director of bands, has resigned Thursday amid investigation into the sale of more than $50,000 worth of school's musical instruments. Rubelow, 48, deposited the earnings into two private accounts from 2011-13.  

He paid more than $87,000 back to the university this week as part of a settlement deal.

Investigation has revealed that Rumbelow started selling the instruments in 2011 on eBay and  other places and is estimated to have sold nearly $76,000 worth of equipment between 2011 and 2013. A collector and a Tennessee school district were his buyers.

"Seventy-six instruments appear to be missing and some of them on the inventory list were declared as having 'zero value' even though they were sold by Rumbelow using eBay and through other contacts," said Lt. Matt Myrick, university police. "In one instance, four clarinets were sold for $5,500 each. The payment for these clarinets was in the form of a check made out to Rumbelow."

Julia Rietz, Champaign County State's Attorney, said that her office hasn't yet completed examining the police investigation. Rietz also said that although Rumbelow has repaid the money, felony charges have not been yet ruled out.

According to U. of I. police, Rumbelow of Champaign will probably be arraigned in late September. He is likely to face felony theft charge.

Dan Jackson, Rumbelow's lawyer, said that he might have violated university's policies relating to property, but he did not have any wrong intentions behind it. He didn't spend any of the money. He only sold the instruments to gather money to fund a study on the possibility of constructing a new building in place of the crumbling one.

Jackson said that he actually intended to give back the money to the university in the form of an anonymous donation after selling all the instruments.

"He had the idea that he would get much better returns not trading them in, but to sell them, and develop funds," Jackson said. "And he did that. But being a musician and not a lawyer or a businessman, he didn't do that in a way that he would want to do again."

"He never spent any of it for anything, nor did he intend to keep any of it," Jackson said. "It was always sitting there, waiting to go back to the university, which it has. He hasn't spent a nickel of it for himself."

Police began its investigation in mid-June after the university's ethics office received a complaint.

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