HUFFINGTON POST
07/15/2011 09:32 am ET Updated Sep 14, 2011

Ex-North Chicago School Officials Indicted In $800,000 Kickback Scheme

Two former North Chicago Unit School District officials were indicted by a grand jury Thursday for allegedly receiving kickbacks totaling over $800,000 from school bus companies.

Three principals of bus companies were also indicted for reportedly receiving more than $21 million in student busing contracts between 2001 and 2010. District 187, the affected school district, serves 4,000 students, The Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Gloria Harper, 59, formerly a school board member, and 59-year-old Alice Sherrod, formerly the transportation director, are accused of using their positions to ask for and accept cash and gifts from the three bus company officials indicted, according to the Sun-Times.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Harper and Sherrod first received between $4,000 and $5,000 monthly, but were pocketing $20,000 on a monthly basis by 2003.

The indictment also seeks forfeiture of $9.67 million in addition to 48 buses and vans and seven vehicles that were used in several bus companies set up to help operate their scheme.

From the Sun-Times:

"The district is struggling right now," [Lake County Regional Superintendent of Schools Roycaealee Wood] said. "They have a new superintendent and a new board president," referring to a December decision by the school board to agree to an intergovernmental agreement for a state-appointed liaison to help oversee the decisions and operations of the district.