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Private security deal for amphitheater raises questions in Country Club Hills

Updated: December 23, 2013 2:27PM

A Country Club Hills alderman is questioning a 2009 arrangement in which the police chief at the time provided private security for the city-owned amphitheater and paid cash to her employees — including the current police chief.

Regina Evans was the police chief from 2009 through 2011. When told of documents obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times that say Evans provided private security for the city amphitheater in 2009 at the time she was chief, Ald. Vincent Lockett said Wednesday that he was unaware of the arrangement.

“That would definitely be a conflict of interest,” Lockett said.

In depositions, current police chief Mark Scott and part-time public safety director William Brown said they were paid cash to do private security work at the theater for Evans when she was chief.

“I was never paid by check, and it’s really kind of strange,” Brown said in a deposition.

Evans succeeded Brown as police chief in early 2009 after he retired. Brown returned to the city government in October as part-time public safety director.

Scott was a police supervisor under Evans. He replaced her as chief when she left the department in 2011.

This summer, Evans pleaded guilty to corruption charges in federal court in Springfield and faces sentencing on Dec. 9. The charges don’t involve the security work at the amphitheater.

In depositions, Brown and Scott said they never received tax forms from Evans for their security work.

Scott said he did not recall exactly when he worked at the theater for Evans. But in his deposition, Brown said he oversaw a security crew for Evans at about 10 concerts in the summer of 2009. She handed him about $275 at the end of each show, he said.

“I never knew the name of the security company that they [Evans and her husband] had,” Brown said.

He said the security workers were police and correctional officers. He assumed they were all working for Evans — and not for Country Club Hills at the time.

“She was under contract to Country Club Hills,” he said, adding that a different vendor took over security for the amphitheater in 2010.

The depositions were taken in an ongoing job discrimination lawsuit that Therese O’Donnell, a retired Country Club Hills police supervisor, brought against the city. O’Donnell, who is white, claims she was a victim of racial discrimination by Evans, who is black, said Patrick Walsh, her lawyer.

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