Flowers owes state cops $105,000
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
by Duaa Eldeib
Charles Flowers' Suburban Cook County Regional Education Office owes
more than $100,000 to the men in blue, a spokesman for the state police
The regional office contracts with the Illinois State Police to
process fingerprinting cards, said Illinois State Police spokesman Lt.
The office is $105,000 behind on payments, Gutierrez said.
All teachers are required to complete fingerprint-based criminal
history records checks before beginning jobs with a school district,
according to state school code.
In 2008, Gutierrez said the office owed $5,000. At the start of this year, the balance was up to $82,000, he added.
"We're very limited as to what information we can share because of the current investigation," Gutierrez said.
It was unclear what the state police can or would do to collect the late payments.
The SouthtownStar first reported on the alleged financial and ethical misconduct at the office this spring.
Since then, the Cook County state's attorney's office has launched
an investigation. A state audit slammed the office, which is nearly $1
million in the red.
On July 1, state's attorney investigators raided the Westchester
regional office and Supt. Flowers' Maywood home and seized computers
In addition, the Illinois State Board of Education has begun the
process of revoking Flowers' certificates, which would render him unfit
for the position.
The state's attorney filed a lawsuit against Flowers and the
regional office July 13, alleging he engaged in a scheme to defraud
Cook County and avoided officials when he defaulted on a $190,000 loan
from the county. The lawsuit called the district finances "disastrous."
The county board has taken a unanimous no-confidence vote against
Flowers, passed a resolution to abolish the regional office and
demanded Flowers' immediate resignation.
Flowers has not returned numerous calls for comment.
Duaa Eldeib can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (708) 633-5960.