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Ex-Stroger aide posts bail after three nights in jail

Thursday, October 07, 2010
Chicago Sun-Times
by Lisa Donovan

A former top aide to Cook County Board President Todd Stroger was sprung from jail Thursday afternoon.

Carla Oglesby’s parents withdrew money from a line of credit on their suburban St. Louis home to post the $25,000 bond needed to free her from jail. She faces charges of stealing $300,000 in taxpayer money by awarding sham county contracts to herself and friends for work that was never done.

Oglesby, who served as Stroger’s Deputy Chief of Staff for little more than seven months, was fired earlier this week, after she was arrested Monday, jailed and charged with money laundering, official misconduct and theft of government property over $100,000.

Her father, White Oglesby, was asked to briefly testify before a Cook County criminal court judge about the source of funds  — standard procedure in financial crimes cases.

Under questioning by his daughter’s attorney, Anthony Schumann, White Oglesby testified that the money for bond came from a home equity line of credit on his O’Fallon, Mo. home.

He said he wasn’t expecting his daughter to repay him for posting the bond, money which could be seized if his daughter is convicted, and used to pay legal fees and even restitution. White Oglesby also testified that he once floated his daughter  $70,000 for her business, but didn’t expect to be paid back.

“It was set up as a father helping a daughter start up a business,’’ White Oglesby said of the loan.  He later repeated, “I don’t expect it to’’ be repaid.

But during questioning by a Cook County prosecutor, he acknowledged that he had received payments from his daughter’s company, CGC Communications, which is at the center of the charges against his daughter.

The payments  include a March 1 check for $3,020 and an April 6 check for $1,060. Both checks are referenced in the court documents laying out the case against Carla Oglesby in the misconduct and money-laundering case.

Just weeks after Oglesby was hired, she allegedly steered a no-bid contract to CGC to spread the word about federal relief money available to residents hit hard when the Des Plaines River swelled during heavy rains back in 2008.

Authorities alleged she got money in the contracting scam to pay her rent and other bills.

At the close of Thursday’s hearing, Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas signed off on the bond money provided by Oglesby’s parents.

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