Former North Chicago school board member gets 30 months for taking kickbacks

SHARE Former North Chicago school board member gets 30 months for taking kickbacks

A former north suburban school board member was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison Tuesday for accepting more than half a million dollars in kickbacks for steering bus contracts to her cronies.

Alice Sherrod, 63, pleaded guilty in September 2013 to one count each of wire fraud and filing a false federal income tax return, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.

U.S. District Judge Sharon Coleman sentenced Sherrod to 30 months in prison and ordered her to pay about $7.2 million in retribution.

Sherrod, who served as North Chicago Community Unit School District 187’s Director of Transportation from 2001 to July 2010, used her position along with former school board president Gloria Harper to solicit gifts and cash in exchange for handing out contracts, prosecutors said.

Initially Harper and Sherrod received kickbacks between $4,000 and $5,000 a month, but by 2003, they were collecting about $20,000 a month, prosecutors said. Harper, of Berwyn, was sentenced to 10 years in prison last year.

Three co-defendants funneled kickbacks totaling at least $800,000 to Harper and Sherrod, and made more than $9.6 million in profits, prosecutors said.

Those co-defendants have already been sentenced.

Tommie Boddie, 69, of Alabama, was sentenced to one day in prison followed by three years of supervised release, including nine months of home confinement.

Derrick Eubanks, 50, of Lake Villa was sentenced to six months in prison; and Barrett White, 55, of Matteson was sentenced to one day in prison followed by one year of supervised release, including six months of weekend imprisonment.

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