Bond was set at $150,000 Thursday for a Dolton woman accused of stealing over $1.5 million of food – primarily chicken wings – while working as a consultant for a school district in south suburban Cook County, according to court documents.
Vera Lidell, 66, began working as the Director of Food Services for Harvey School District 152 in July 2020, according to a proffer from her bond hearing.
Between July 2020 and February 2022, prosecutors said Liddell placed hundreds of unauthorized orders for food items, including 11,000 cases of chicken wings, through the school district’s main supplier, Gordon Food Service. The orders were placed separately from the district’s legitimate orders, prosecutors said. fox32chicago.com reported
The district’s business manager uncovered a scheme during a routine mid-year audit. The manager found that the district was $300,000 over its annual food service budget, even though only half of the school year had passed. Prosecutors reported this. The employees of the district’s food provider, Gordon Food Service, were well-acquainted with the defendant due to the large amounts of chicken wings she frequently purchased, according to court records.