Schools Supt. Charles Flowers Charged With Theft

Charles Flowers, superintendent of the Suburban Cook County Regional Office of Education, is led toward the Cook County sheriff’s office this afternoon after being arrested by Cook County state’s attorney investigators in Maywood.

"Lead us not into temptation." –The Lord’s Prayer

Kudos to the Southtown Star:

Regional Supt. Charles Flowers was charged today with theft by the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

The arrest comes after a yearlong investigation by the Southtown Star into operations of Suburban Cook County Regional Office of Education.

Flowers turned himself in about 1 p.m. to sheriff’s police in Maywood. He was accompanied by his attorney, Tim Grace.

At a news conference this afternoon, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said Flowers is charged with felony theft and official misconduct. She said he faces a prison term of four to seven years if convicted.

"Just when you think you may have seen it all, along comes a case like this one today that just shocks you with the level of egregious conduct that is involved," Alvarez said.

Flowers is in custody pending a bond hearing Friday morning in a Maywood courtroom.

Temptation is an ugly thing. It’s so hard to resist. No doubt that’s one of the reasons mention of temptation found its way into The Lord’s Prayer.

There’s an old Christian teaching about an ‘occasion of sin.’ While often associated with Catholic sisters and priests on dance floors telling dancing teens to separate, there’s actually a lot of wisdom to this one. There’s a lot of wisdom is setting up boundaries in an office to isolate oneself from temptation. In generic accounting terminology, we might talk about setting up internal audits.

It may be too late for Regional Supt. Charles Flowers. He is innocent until proven guilty. For anyone else in elected office, this is a sobering lesson.

Set up checks and balances so neither you, or those you hire, will be tempted, and, heaven help us, give in to temptation.

More at the Star.