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Former City Colleges vice chancellor charged in kickback scheme

City Colleges Chancellor Juan Salgado said he is ‘appalled and personally offended’ by the allegations

Elias Quinones Figueroa faces federal charges in connection to a May 27, 2020, carjacking in West Town.
Dirksen Federal Courthouse

A former City Colleges of Chicago vice chancellor has been charged with 16 counts of wire fraud and could face serious prison time after the feds alleged Wednesday he took part in a classic kickback scheme with vendors.

Sharod Gordon, 45, of Oak Park, previously also worked for City Colleges as district director of community affairs and associate vice chancellor of community relations and student recruitment.

Gordon is now named in a 37-page indictment made public Wednesday. Also named as defendants are Angelique Orr, 47, of Berwyn; Krystal Stokes, 39, of Florida; Tiffany McQueen, 43, of Naperville; Marva Smith, 37, and Nancy Vazquez, 48, both of Chicago; Marquita Payne, 38, of Texas; and Tiffany Capel, 35, of Michigan.

Orr and Gordon were married from November 1998 to September 2013, according to the indictment.

Among Gordon’s duties at City Colleges was soliciting quotes from potential vendors, recommending them to City Colleges, reviewing their invoices and considering bids for contracts, the document states.

Gordon and others lied to make it look like they had no financial interest in entities that Gordon wound up picking for community canvassing and flyer distribution contracts, as well as community event sponsorships, according to the indictment.

Prosecutors allege Gordon took kickbacks along the way.

The feds also say Gordon and others hid their interests using third parties. Gordon also allegedly steered contracts to several different vendor companies to avoid a formal competitive bidding process. He allegedly monitored the approval of invoices and, in some cases, also expedited approval.

Gordon’s defense attorney could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday, and his arraignment at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse had not yet been set. If found guilty, each count carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

In a statement, City Colleges Chancellor Juan Salgado said he is “appalled and personally offended that employees would not only abuse their positions of trust, but squander CCC’s limited resources for their own personal gain.”

Salgado said no one named in the indictment still works at City Colleges. He noted the alleged scheme occurred prior to his tenure, and he said City Colleges has taken steps to prevent such a scheme from occurring in the future.