BREAKING NEWS – Harvey, Illinois – The food service director for an impoverished south suburban school district near Chicago is accused of stealing $1.5 million worth of food — mainly chicken wings — according to court documents reviewed by Nexstar’s WGN.

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

“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. At her hearing, she said she is not a thief, even though she attempted to sell the chicken wings to KFC and Popeye’s. She is also charged with grand theft auto after she sold the district cargo van, to use the money hire a criminal defense lawyer to prove her innocence of all charges.