A grand jury sitting in Springfield returned three indictments, including one that claims Jeri L. Wright, of Hazel Crest, took $28,000 in state money, purporting to do work related to the grant’s purpose, but deposited about $20,000 into bank accounts controlled by Regina and Ronald Evans, of Country Club Hills.
A superseding indictment also was handed down Wednesday contending Evans, the former police chief of Country Club Hills, and her husband committed wire fraud, money laundering and more in using the 2009 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Through two nonprofits the Evanses ran, the couple allegedly promised to use the grant money to train bricklayers and electricians and provide GED preparation in a renovated theater they owned in Chicago.
The indictment claims little or no training was done.
Lawrence Beaumont, of Chicago, attorney for Regina Evans, 50, said she is innocent but declined further comment. Beaumont confirmed that Jeri Wright is the daughter of the fiery minister whose sermons and later public statements during the 2008 presidential campaign forced then-U.S. Sen. Obama to denounce the pastor’s utterances.