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 user 2010-02-15 at 10:24:58 am Views: 77
  • #23673

    A former Chicago State University employee was indicted Tuesday, accused of devising a scheme in which the university bought overpriced copy machines and paper from a company he owned.Michael Vernon Warren, 60, the university’s former director of publications and copy services, was indicted on four counts of wire fraud and four counts of official misconduct, both felonies, said Scott Mulford, a spokesman for the Illinois attorney general’s office.

    The Tribune first reported in December 2007 that the university paid more than $250,000 to buy two high-end copy machines from A&W Group, a company Warren ran out of his Chicago Heights home.Michael Vernon Warren accused of devising scheme to sell overpriced copier, paper to university from company he owned”(Warren) and his wife owned and operated A&W Group and devised a scheme to obtain $65,104 from Chicago State University by misrepresentations and concealing his ownership of A&W Group,” Mulford said. Warren padded the cost of the copiers by $52,376 and of the paper by $12,728, Mulford said.

    Warren told the Tribune in 2007 that the university had forced him to resign.
    On Tuesday, he said, “I know what I was asked to do, and I don’t think I did anything that was improper.”Chicago State’s general counsel said in a statement that the university is cooperating with the attorney general’s office and stressed that the incident occurred under a prior administration. The new administration, he said, is “dedicated to fostering a culture of accountability and transparency.”

    Revelations of the copier deal came at a time when university officials, including former president Elnora Daniel, were under fire for lax financial oversight.A former Chicago State spokeswoman said in 2007 that university officials did not know Warren owned the company when they inked the deal for the copiers and paper. Warren had been instructed to get pricing from several vendors, and he said he submitted four quotes.The university bought the copiers with federal grant funds to be used to print textbooks for schoolchildren in Ghana. The price included delivery to Africa.The state’s higher education procurement code prohibits awarding contracts to a university employee or to a firm owned by an employee, unless it is essential to operations and approved by the president.Warren is scheduled to be arraigned March 2.