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Stroger Aide Arrested in Corruption Case

By Kevin Robinson in News on Oct 5, 2010 2:00PM

2010_9_oglesby.jpg Carla Oglesby, Todd Stroger's former deputy chief of staff, was arrested Monday afternoon by the Cook County State's Attorney's financial crimes unit on a warrant related to charges stemming from an ongoing corruption probe of Stroger's office. Oglesby was charged with theft of government property, money laundering and and official misconduct.

The charges are in relation to Oglesby's role in awarding no-bid county contracts to her privately-owned public-relations firm. Oglesby was suspended from her job earlier this year and placed on unpaid administrative leave after an investigation into charges that she commandeered a county contract worth nearly $25,000 for her publicity firm from Stroger. Stroger initially said that she would remain on leave until the county's inspector general finished his investigation, but he brought her back within a month.

Oglesby's role in the affair is complicated by her relationship to Stroger. She served briefly as a spokeswoman on his failed re-election bid, and was given a $120,000 a year job with the county shortly after the election. Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez is expected to hold a press conference later today, although her chief of staff Dan Kirk told the Tribune that “at the state’s attorney’s direction, our investigators arrested her this afternoon as the result of a long-term investigation generally about the 24-9 contracts and her involvement with them." Kirk was referring to the type of contract that was awarded, priced at just under $25,000 to avoid approval by the board of county commissioners.

“She (Oglesby) is being processed at the Chicago Police facility at Homan Square and will appear in bond court tomorrow.” Oglesby told the Sun-Times over the summer that she signed off on some of the contracts to her firm, although pointed out that signing the paperwork and steering the contracts to her firm were two different things. “I didn't steer a contract" to her firm, told the Sun-Times. "Ultimately I don't make a decision about what agencies and firms get contracts."