Lawrence Wyllie, former superintendent in Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210, arrives for his arraignment on federal fraud charges at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago on Sept. The indictment of a former well-respected high school superintendent accused of dipping into district coffers to finance personal projects such as a dog-training school, and charges that a former south suburban mayor used his position to solicit bribes from firms doing business with his city were among the top news stories locally of 2017. The sudden closure of foot locker in southland mall number all-girls Catholic high school, the retirement from Springfield of a longtime local state legislator and efforts by the apparent winner of a mayoral race to take office also made news this year.
Once lauded for leading the district into academic prominence, Wyllie oversaw the district’s expansion from a single school in New Lenox to four campuses before retiring in 2013. He is alleged to have masked the district’s true financial health from school board members, with the district, after his departure, being forced to shutter one of its schools to bring costs under control. The bribes included payments through shell companies, campaign contributions and even small cash sums tucked in coffee cups, according to court documents. First elected in 2001, Webb did not seek re-election this spring amid a federal investigation. 72 million having been paid by Markham to Webb’s campaign contributors. With Webb not running for mayor, Roger Agpawa, who sought to replace him, garnered the support of 41 percent of city residents casting votes for mayor in April’s municipal election. The Cook County state’s attorney, however, citing Agpawa’s 1999 felony conviction for mail fraud, successfully sued to block him from being seated.
From floods to a high school hazing scandal: A recap of some of the biggest stories from around the Chicago suburbs in 2017. In late June, frustrated with efforts to reach an agreement on a state budget, Sen. Christine Radogno said she would leave office July 1, the start of the state’s new fiscal year. The Lemont Republican and Senate minority leader, first elected in 1996, was the first woman to lead a caucus of the General Assembly. He has filed paperwork to seek election to a full term this coming year. In late January, just weeks after appointing a new principal and holding entrance exams for the class of 2021, it was announced that Queen of Peace, the all-girls Catholic high school in Burbank, would close at the end of the current school year.