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Carla Oglesby Delivers Another Black Eye for Illinois Politics:

Former Stroger aide charged with embezzlement

By David A. Lynch
On October 26, 2010

In yet another blow for Illinois politics, Carla Oglesby has grabbed headlines for all of the wrong reasons. Oglesby was arrested for embezzling $300,000 by steering "24-9" contracts to companies that she owns or profits from. By keeping the value of contracts just under $25,000, Oglesby was able to award the no bid contracts without the vote of the Cook County board. Following Todd Stroger's failed re-election campaign in February 2010, Oglesby was given the post of Deputy Chief of Staff and, within weeks, began awarding the contracts. Clearly, she felt the prominent post was "[expetive] golden."

You have to give Oglesby some credit, she quickly learned how to circumvent the system, then set her plan of thievery into motion. One of the more creative contracts awarded by Oglesby, was for $24,995 to Arrei Management. That company closed in 2008, two years before the contract was awarded. Whether it was creativity, or bold bravado that she would escape, that motivated her actions, the world may never know.

The damage that Oglesby's actions have done far extend beyond the tax payers of Cook County. The land of Lincoln had a minor escape from public scrutiny with President Obama's election. However, former Governor Rod Blagojevich helped to return the politicians of Illinois to a state of disgrace. The exaggerations by Mark Kirk in regards to his military service record, along with his rival in the United States Senate race, Alexi Giannoulias' family bank having some shady business history has only continued to cast further public doubt on Illinois politicians. As Jack Nicholson famously mused in his portrayal as The Joker in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman, "Who do you trust!"

With all of the allegations surrounding the Stroger administration, the various governors of Illinois who have been convicted of felonies, public mistrust is at an all time high. One almost has to wonder if those numerous probes into the Daley administration are finally getting close to hitting home and that is what is driving the Chicago icon from his throne at city hall. That of course is merely conjecture. Two things can be certain, however, Oglesby resigned from her position with the county following her arrest, and her father made sure to pay the full $25,000 required for her to be released on bond.

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