Carla Oglesby, top aide to Todd Stroger, on trial for corruption - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Carla Oglesby, ex-Stroger aide, on trial for corruption

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Nearly three years after she was arrested while pulling out of a downtown parking garage, Carla Oglesby – a top aide to former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger – is expected to go on trial on public corruption charges Monday.

Stroger and Eugene Mullins, Stroger's childhood friend and onetime chief media spokesman, were listed among the roughly 70 potential witnesses in court documents filed last year.

However, it was unclear whether either of the men will take the stand during 44-year-old Oglesby's bench trial before Judge James Linn. A state's attorney's spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter.

With the help of vendors, Mullins and Oglesby "assisted the other in getting various sham contracts through the system," prosecutors allege in court documents.

"Evidence shows that Oglesby, Mullins and the vendors agreed to work together to loot the county with a string of sham contracts wherein some contracts involved kickbacks and others involved plain self-dealing."

Oglesby, specifically, steered more than $300,000 in fake government contracts to herself and her pals, prosecutors said — a claim denied by defense attorney Anthony Schumann.

"She has not committed any of the criminal offenses she is accused of," Schumann said of his client last week.

"She is not guilty."

Mullins was not in trouble with the law at the time of Oglesby's 2010 arrest on theft, money laundering and official misconduct charges.

But last year, he was indicted on federal charges tied to an alleged kickback scheme stemming from a joint investigation with state authorities that led to Oglesby's arrest.

Four men authorities said were connected to Oglesby and Mullins' alleged wrongdoing were also charged with a felony.

Prosecutors said all the questionable contracts related to Oglesby and Mullins were for amounts just under the $25,000 threshold that would have required a county board vote.

Oglesby was operating a small-time public relations firm CGC Communication in 2009 when Stroger tapped her to be his spokeswoman in his re-election bid. He lost the February 2010 primary, but Stroger kept Oglesby on his payroll as his $120,000-a-year deputy chief of staff until days after her arrest.

Two years ago, the Sun-Times reported that Oglesby was collecting unemployment benefits.

Schumann would not comment Friday on whether she was still receiving those checks.

Oglesby remains free on bail.

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