Chicago School Official Accused of Stealing $1.5 Million Worth Of Chicken

Chicago School Official Accused of Stealing $1.5 Million Worth Of Chicken Wings From District

An investigation is underway after a Chicago school district employee allegedly stole over $1 million worth of chicken in an elaborate scheme that kicked off during the pandemic.

Former Director of Food Services at Harvey School District 152, Vera Liddell, had some serious explaining to do after she was found to have ordered large quantities of chicken wings for her own personal enjoyment. Liddell abused her position during the COVID-19 shutdowns when students were learning remotely. School lunches were still being provided via pickup for children, and the 66-year-old was in charge of ordering enough food for everyone. However, according to CBS News, from July 2020 until February 2022, Liddell placed hundreds of orders to Gordon Food Service for more than 11,000 cases of wings, totaling $1.5 million that was billed to the school district. What’s even more odd is the fact that the school district does not serve chicken wings to pupils because they include bones.

All chicken wing purchases were made separately from the standard school district orders. Gordon Food Service did not question the transactions and billed the district accordingly. Liddell’s lengthy plan was uncovered during a January 2022 audit, which showed invoices signed by her, all for unexplainable amounts of chicken. The review also concluded that the food service department was more than $300,000 over its annual budget. Sealing Liddell’s fate was surveillance footage from the Gordon Food Service facility that showed her picking up the chicken orders personally in a district cargo van. It remains unclear what she did with all of the poultry.

Liddell was taken to the Cook County Jail and charged with theft and operating a criminal enterprise. Her bond is set at $150,000.

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