CHICAGO (CBS) — A spokesman for Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) said the alderman is cooperating with a federal probe into how he ended up with a check for nearly $5,000 from a woman accused of improperly spending a state grant.

The Chicago Tribune reports Ervin received a $4,932 check from Divine Praise Inc. in August 2011; the check was made out by Divine Praise president Franshuan Myles, who later was charged with wire fraud in connection with $60,000 she received from the state for a youth summer jobs program.

The FBI tried to question Ervin about the check, but he refused to answer without an attorney present.

However, spokesman Tom Bowen said the alderman is cooperating with the feds.

“Alderman Ervin was made aware of allegations regarding an improper use of state grant money by Divine Praise, Inc., and he will cooperate fully with authorities to ensure that taxpayer resources were not improperly diverted for anything else than their specific purpose,” he said.

The alderman’s office is looking into what the check from Divine Praise was used for, but a source noted the timing was close to a back-to-school event Ervin held that year, at a time when donations were being made.