CHICAGO (CN) – Federal prosecutors charged a former acting director of a Cook County job-training program with ordering birth certificates and Selective Service documents to be forged so the county could get money for a summer jobs program for young people.
Defendant Brendolyn Hart-Glover, 42, was acting director of the Cook County President’s Office of Employment Training (POET) during 2009-2010, a Department of Labor investigator said in an affidavit attached to the indictment.
POET received $5.67 million in federal grants for its summer youth job program under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Participants had to meet age and income requirements and register with Selective Service. The money was disbursed by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.
But when the Labor Department audited POET’s 2009 summer program, it found that 70 of the 1,400 participant files were missing, according to the affidavit.
In a letter, the Labor Department informed POET that it “would not reimburse approximately $1.4 million in questioned costs based on the documentation POET had produced to that point,” according to the affidavit.
When POET employees could not find the files, Hart-Glover told them, “Let me make something clear. It is not an option for you to not have the Summer Youth files. We just gave back $2.1 million to the state for one of the other programs. There will be no POET if we do not get those files,” the affidavit state.
Citing one of three cooperating witnesses, the Labor Department investigator claims that Hart-Glover “said words to the effect of, ‘we are going to have to make it up,’ which CW-2 understood to mean recreate the missing files identified in Finding 1 and forge any necessary documents that could not be located. Hart-Glover said this had to be done or ‘no one would have a job.'”
The Labor Department investigator claims that the forged documents included birth certificates, applications and Selective Service documents.
The agent says that when federal agents interviewed Hart-Glover in 2011, she denied knowing about the falsified documents.
The criminal indictment claims that Hart-Glover “knowingly and willfully falsified, concealed and covered up by trick, scheme and device a material fact within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the Government of the United States, namely, maintenance of files by the Cook County President’s Office of Employment Training with documentation supporting the eligibility of certain participants in the 2009 Summer Youth Program”.
If convicted, Hart-Glover faces up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.