Monday, September 21, 2009

Chicago Sun-Times Ranks Proviso West Football In Top 25!!!

The Proviso West Panther Football team has been ranked in the Chicago Sun-Times Top 25 for the first time ever. The Panthers, behind the strength of top national prospect Kyle Prater, have started the season 4-0 for the first time in the school's 51 year history. Prater has already been signed the USC Trojans.


Anonymous said...

Flowers adds administrator at in-debt regional schools office

September 24, 2009


Charles Flowers just added another salary to the payroll of an office, which at last count, was nearly $1 million in debt.

The Suburban Cook County regional schools superintendent hired Anthony Epah as assistant regional superintendent to the tune of $77,426 annually.

Epah replaces Cynthia Broughton, who served as assistant regional superintendent until she opted for early retirement June 30, one day before investigators raided Flowers' home and office as part of an ongoing criminal probe.

Broughton returned Aug. 17, promoted to interim deputy regional superintendent. In accordance to Teachers' Retirement System rules, she may only work for 120 days or risk losing her pension.

That pension comes in at $10,537 a month, according to state records obtained by the SouthtownStar through a Freedom of Information Act request. On top of that, she's looking to earn about $42,600 for her 120-day stint in her new role at the regional office, state documents show.

Neither Epah nor Broughton returned calls for comment. No one answered the door at the address listed for Epah, who came on board Sept. 16 and has a doctorate in education, records show. Epah worked previously at Ada S. McKinley Community Services Inc., where Flowers was special-education director before being elected regional schools chief in 2007.

Flowers, who also did not return calls, continues to collect his $103,000 salary while the Cook County state's attorney's office - which is suing Flowers for allegedly engaging in a scheme to defraud Cook County after defaulting on a $190,000 loan - completes its ongoing investigation.

The alleged financial and ethical misconduct, first reported by the SouthtownStar, includes handing out $15,000 in salary advance loans to a friend and sister employed at the office, paying a nephew to eat lunch, taking out cash advances and using district credit cards for personal expenses, including a trip to a hair salon, fancy meals out and limo charges.

Legislators in Springfield have drafted legislation to dissolve the office, a move supported by the Cook County Board. DuPage County Regional Supt. Darlene Ruscitti confirmed she was asked to host a meeting in late August with area regional superintendents to discuss "best regional office of education practices." No one from Flowers' office attended. However, an Illinois State Board of Education representative was present.

"I suspect they were looking for information because there is legislation out there, and to address the educational needs of Suburban Cook," said Ruscitti, who added her office has seen an increase in teachers and bus drivers looking for certification assistance.

Meanwhile, an ISBE spokeswoman said a hearing on the move to revoke Flowers' certificates - making him ineligible to serve - won't likely be held until November or December.

Anonymous said...

Latest Flowers shenanigans not surprising

September 27, 2009

The issue: Mired in debt, targeted by state legislators and the county board and subject of a criminal probe, Cook County Suburban Regional Schools Supt. Charles Flowers decided recently to bring on two new administrators.

We say: This is outrageous. It's just the latest in a long line of outrageous choices by Flowers, who should resign and answer questions about his alleged financial mismanagement of public money.

It's almost not possible for regional schools chief Charles Flowers to shock us anymore. For months, SouthtownStar reporter Duaa Eldeib has investigated the regional office of education's finances, uncovering allegations that have led to a probe by the Cook County state's attorney, a grand jury and the state board of education. The Cook County Board and some in the state Legislature have called for his office to be eliminated.

Our stories have detailed accusations that Flowers has misused office credit cards, bullied employees and failed to carry out even the very modest responsibilities of his office.

Also, we've revealed how Flowers has driven the office approximately $1 million into debt, which has forced him to lay off some workers and even miss payroll at least twice.

In the meantime he's padded the office roster with friends, his sisters and his nephews.

The newest addition to the troubled ROE office is new Assistant Supt. Anthony Epah, who will be paid $77,426 a year. He replaces Cynthia Broughton, the former assistant superintendent, who retired the day before investigators raided the regional schools office and Flowers' home as part of the criminal probe. But Broughton wasn't gone long. She's returned to the regional schools office, this time as an interim deputy regional superintendent. For that she's paid $42,600 for a 120-day stint. This is on top of her $10,537 a month pension.

This is ridiculous. First, considering the black cloud of suspicion hanging over Flowers, what educator in his right mind would take a job at the ROE? We don't know for sure because Epah, like Flowers himself, refuses to speak with us.

And secondly, why should taxpayers fund Broughton's new temporary job while simultaneously paying her a generous pension?

It's well past time for Flowers to resign. Likewise, it's overdue for authorities to hold him accountable for his actions.

Anonymous said...

Charles Flowers?????????????, Tony Peraica's spanking boy????????????????????????????.