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North Chicago Ex-Employees Behaving Badly

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 14, 2011 7:38PM

2011_7_14_north_chicago.jpg Let's get this out of the way first: that there are two stories in the news related to former employees of suburban North Chicago (home of the Jelly Belly plant, Abbott Laboratories and Great Lakes Naval Station) running afoul of the law is merely coincidental and not intended by us to cast a negative light on the town.

But what a coinkydink it makes, still.

Two former officials of the North Chicago school system have been indicted by a grand jury for allegedly receiving kickbacks from school bus companies. Former North Chicago Community Unit School District 187 board member Gloria Harper and Alice Sherrod, the districts former transportation chief, are accused of asking for and accepting cash and gifts totaling over $800,000 in exchange for awarding school bus contracts. Three school bus company officials were also indicted.

Former North Chicago police officer Devin A. Bickham was charged today with the murder of his mistress in River Forest. The 39-year-old Bickham of Blue Island, his son Devin, Jr. and Cardell Taylor of Chicago are believed to have conspired to kill Chevron Alexander of Chicago at Dominican University's Priory Campus - the first murder in River Forest since 2005.

Alexander was found with gunshot wounds to her head, shoulder and chest in a car on the campus parking lot. She later died at Loyola University Medical Center. Bickham, Jr. and Taylor were pulled over a mile away from the scene by police in neighboring Forest Park, where they found a .380-caliber handgun in the car and taken into custody. The younger Bickham and Taylor are reported to have confessed to their roles in Alexander's murder. The elder Bickham allegedly lured Alexander, who was pressuring him to divorce his wife, to the parking lot, where Bickham, Jr. and Taylor later came and shot her. Bickham, Sr. placed a 911 call to throw officials off of him, as a suspect.