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191st Street Development   Monday, April 23, 2018
In the news:
 Lincoln-Way considering appraisal of shuttered North High School

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Trial date set for former Lincoln-Way superintendent Lawrence Wyllie`s federal fraud case
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

by Gregory Pratt
reprinted from the Chicago Tribune

A federal judge on Tuesday set former Lincoln-Way High School District 210 Superintendent Lawrence Wyllie`s fraud case for trial beginning Dec. 3.

U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman said he`d clear three weeks of his schedule to preside over the trial. Prosecutors asked for two weeks to present their case against Wyllie, which they noted is complex. A defense attorney suggested three weeks total should work.

In September, a grand jury indicted Wyllie on charges that he hid the "true financial health" of the Lincoln-Way school district by misusing millions in bond money and fraudulently spent school funds on personal projects, including Superdog, a dog-training school he ordered built.

Wyllie also pocketed more than $30,000 in unused vacation days and a retirement bonus he wasn`t entitled to, the indictment said.

The indictment marked a dramatic turn for Wyllie, who was once considered a model of responsible financial leadership in Illinois. When Wyllie retired in 2013, two years before his contract expired, district officials placed plaques honoring Wyllie at each Lincoln-Way school.

In 1989, Wyllie became Lincoln-Way`s superintendent and oversaw the district`s expansion from a single school in New Lenox to four different campuses before stepping down.

Lincoln-Way primarily serves students from New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan and Tinley Park.

During his time at Lincoln-Way, supporters called Wyllie a visionary. School board members lauded him as a "genius" and "legend." Critics, however, said he was autocratic and some district officials had a saying: "Follow the LAW," meaning Lawrence A. Wyllie.

Since Wyllie`s departure, the district has experienced a series of shocks. State officials placed Lincoln-Way on its financial watch list in 2015. The school board subsequently voted to close Lincoln-Way North, a high school that opened in 2008, as a cost-savings measure.

gpratt@chicagotribune.com
Twitter @royalpratt


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Russ Block
BrooksideGlen.org - webmaster
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