Posted on February 1, 2023

Suburban School Worker Charged With Stealing $1.5M Worth of Chicken Wings From District

Ben Bradley et al., WGN, January 30, 2023

The food service director for an impoverished south suburban school district is accused of stealing $1.5M worth of food – mainly chicken wings – according to court documents reviewed by WGN Investigates.

Vera Liddell, 66, worked for Harvey School District 152 for more than a decade, according to a LinkedIn account associated with her name.

Vera Liddell

Vera Liddell

“The massive fraud began at the height of COVID during a time when students were not allowed to be physically present in school,” reads a proffer presented at Liddell’s bond hearing. “Even though the children were learning remotely, the school district continued to provide meals for the students that their families could pick up.”

Court records accuse Liddell of ordering more than 11,000 cases of chicken wings from the school district’s food provider and then picking-up the order in a district cargo van.

“The food was never brought to the school or provided to the students,” reads the proffer.

District funds were used to pay for the food, according to prosecutors, who did not reveal what became of the chicken wings.