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 user 2010-02-15 at 10:25:47 am Views: 36
  • #23723

    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

    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

    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.