Former State Rep. Howard To Plead Guilty To Mail Fraud

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A former Illinois lawmaker was expected to plead guilty Wednesday to allegedly spending thousands of dollars in scholarship money raised through a golf charity on herself and her political campaigns, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Springfield said.

Former state Rep. Constance Howard, a Democrat who resigned last year amid reports of a federal investigation, was expected to waive formal indictment and plead guilty to a one count of wire fraud before U.S. Magistrate Judge Byron Cudmore in Springfield. One count of wire fraud carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.

A message seeking comment from Howard’s attorney, Michael Metnick, wasn’t immediately returned Wednesday afternoon.

A court document filed by prosecutors on July 17 accuses Howard, 70, of fraudulently raising funds between 2003 and 2008 through a charity called “Tee Off For Technology Celebrity Golf Outing.” The annual event grew out of the tax-exempt “Tee Off for Technology” organization, which Howard founded in 2003.

Between 2003 and 2007 Howard raised $76,000 by telling donors the money would go to pay for computer-science and other similar scholarships. Only five scholarships worth a total of $12,500 were actually dispersed; Howard ended up using around $28,000 for personal and political use, the document says.

Howard represented the Chicago-area’s 34th district and resigned on July 6, 2012, for what she described as “personal reasons.” She had served as chairwoman of the Illinois House’s computer technology committee.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments

More From CBS Chicago

Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live