Oak Park resident Sharod Gordon has been sentenced to five and a half years in federal prison for devising and engaging in a procurement fraud scheme during his time as a vice chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago. In a plea deal he admitted he had been directing school contracts to his romantic liaisons and pocketing kickbacks.
“Sharod Gordon abused the public trust for personal profit,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan DeMarco in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “Defendant used his government position to deprive underserved college students of honest services in order to line his own pocket.”
From 2013 to 2017, Gordon admitted taking payments from vendor-companies in exchange for directing City Colleges contracts to them for community canvassing and flyer distribution services. Gordon was handed the 66-month prison term Aug. 3.
As vice chancellor of legislative, government and community affairs, Gordon had the authority to approve and award such contracts. The companies submitted invoices, causing City Colleges to pay out nearly $350,000 for work that, in some cases, was never performed.
Gordon then reportedly directed representatives from the companies to pay him a portion of the money, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Illinois. Some of the companies were created by Gordon’s City Colleges colleagues and personal acquaintances for the sole purpose of applying for the contracts.
The 47-year-old pleaded guilty to a federal wire fraud charge last year, wherein he admitted to abusing using his position to “steer several vendor contracts” to women with whom he had or had had a “romantic relationship.” He likewise confessed to steering contracts to his former wife through a non-profit organization she established with his assistance, according to Gordon’s plea declaration.
Gordon was indicted for devising the procurement fraud scheme in 2019. Seven other defendants, including Gordon’s ex-wife Angelique Orr of Berwyn, were also charged in the indictment.