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Sneed exclusive: Former CSU official to be indicted

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The eraser set . . .

Ka-Ching!

Sneed has learned a former high-ranking official at Chicago State University — and the official’s mother — will be indicted Thursday stemming from a ghost-payrolling scheme.

• Translation: Watch for Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to announce felony corruption charges against the former CSU official.

• The shocker: The former official won’t be the only one indicted. Sneed hears the official’s mother is being charged as part of the alleged scheme and will also be indicted.

• The stats: The former official is facing a host of charges for hiring the official’s mother and steering an unauthorized university consulting contract to a family friend.

The probe, initiated by the university, claims the official’s mother was hired for a part-time position at the university despite more than 3,000 applications for the job. The mother allegedly collected nearly $5,000 in pay before university officials reported it to the state’s attorney.

“One of the most important initiatives of CSU’s President Wayne Watson’s presidency has been to implement stronger internal controls, and this discovery was a result of that,” said Tom Wogan, a university spokesman.

“At a time when public funding for our colleges and universities is stretched to the limit, a crime like this is even more reprehensible,” Alvarez said.

OPINION

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The power couple?

Are Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and his wife, Chicago attorney Kristin Barnette McCarthy, the city’s new power couple?

Hmmm.

According to a DNAinfo interview this week with Mrs. Barnette McCarthy, who wed the city’s top cop last New Year’s Eve, it sure sounds like they are.

• Quoth Mrs. Barnette McCarthy: “We cannot go anywhere without being recognized, whether it is Michigan, Munich or Mykonos. To be recognized across the lake or across the world, is not a bad thing, per se, as our encounters are usually for expressions of gratitude, it is just different.”

There ya go.

Dunkin’ Dunkin?

Bravery or Balderdash?

Sneed hears State Rep. Ken Dunkin, the Dem who sided, by voting absent, with GOPer Gov. Bruce Rauner’s fight against a bill reversing child care cuts — may be on the Dems’ hit list.

• The upshot: Word is Dunkin needed some life insurance before he did the dastardly deed.

• To wit: Sneed is told by top GOP sources Dunkin called Republican heavyweights Tuesday seeking assurance the Republicans were united against the bill – and that no one was going to flip — or he’d be up a certain creek.

• The buckshot: It’s called the creek of no return.

The game’s afoot . . .

Lord Sherlock? Not quite. In case you missed it, actor Benedict Cumberbatch received a CBE — Most Excellent Order of the British Empire — recently from Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace. Now you know . . . if you didn’t before.

I spy . . .

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and wife Loretta spotted cozily dining at La Sardine eatery Friday night . . . Country star Luke Bryan spotted lunching at Chicago Cut Steakhouse recently . . . Ditto NBA superstar Charles Barkley, who posed for a photo with a Patrick Kane jersey and asked that it be sent to Kane during the Blackhawks game against the St. Louis Blues that night . . . Former Chicago Bears cornerback and 1985 Super Bowl Champion Michael Richardson tailgated at Harry Caray’s Tavern at Navy Pier before a Bears game . . . White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon dining at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse River North.

Sneedlings . . .

Congrats to John Colletti, managing partner for Gibsons restaurant group, on receiving the Sportsman of the Year award given by the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. Today’s birthdays: Sammy Sosa, 47; Neil Young, 70, and Anne Hathaway, 33.

Follow Sneed on Twitter: @Sneedlings

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