Ald. Ervin, State Sen. Lightford on witness list in federal case

SHARE Ald. Ervin, State Sen. Lightford on witness list in federal case

State Sen. Kimberly Lightford at the Senate in 2014. | AP file photo

Two Chicago-area elected officials appear on a witness list in a federal case involving a woman accused of bilking an Illinois youth program.

In a Friday evening filing in U.S. District Court, Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) and state Sen. Kimberly Lightford (4th) were both listed as “related” to the case against Franshuan Myles.

Prosecutors said although they’re “related” to the case, Ervin and Lightford “are not expected to be called as witnesses.”

Myles is charged with misusing money from Divine Praise Inc. in 2016. It is alleged that money supposed to be spent on participants of the Illinois Youth Recreation Corps program was instead spent on shoes, a rental car and food at Portillo’s Hot Dogs.

It is also alleged that someone described only as “Individual A” received a $4,932 check signed by Myles on Aug. 26, 2011.

A spokesman for Ervin previously confirmed the alderman was “Individual A,” though Lightford was not connected to the case before Friday. She could not be reached for comment.

“Ald. Ervin was made aware of allegations regarding an improper use of state grant money by Divine Praise Inc. and will cooperate fully with authorities to ensure that taxpayer resources were not improperly diverted for anything else than their specific purpose,” Ervin spokesman Tom Bowen previously said in a statement.

Zee Scott, Ervin’s current attorney, could not be reached for comment.

However, attorney Sam Adam Jr. previously acknowledged the $4,932 check was among the funds Myles is accused of misspending. But Adam categorically denied the alderman did anything wrong.

“There is absolutely no indication of any wrongdoing on his part at all . . . I’m absolutely certain this was not illegal funds . . . There’s no indication that this wasn’t a proper check,” Adam said.

“The allegation at least is that there were some misfiling about where checks went by Ms. Myles. But there is no indication that this alleged check was improperly given. They had some reporting requirements that she messed up on for this check and others. The FBI has not indicated to anybody that it wasn’t legitimate. I believe it was for a grant program in the district. I believe this is something that’s part of that but not in a criminal sense on our part.”

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