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A. Courtney Cox and Sandberg Phoenix Hired to Investigate East St. Louis School District

Illinois State Superintendent of Education Dr. Christopher Koch announced that former United States Attorney A. Courtney Cox and Sandberg Phoenix have been retained by the Illinois State Board of Education to conduct an investigation into allegations of waste, fraud and financial mismanagement with respect to Illinois School District 189, including District Charter Schools.

Cox and the firm will report findings of the investigation to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), render advice with respect to the investigation, and perform other duties as directed by ISBE. Cox and the firm will also take appropriate legal action, including litigation, as warranted by the evidence and defend legal actions which may be brought, at the direction of the ISBE.

The initial stage of the investigation will include five specific areas of interest: Contracts for Goods and Services and Leases, District Personnel, District Consultants, Inventory and Expenditures, and Grants. The investigation will include a complete and in-depth review of all finances and personnel decisions of the District since the end of the previous ISBE oversight of the District in 2004.

Cox previously served as United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois from November 2007 through August 2010. He joined Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard as a shareholder in September 2010. In addition to its St. Louis office, the firm maintains offices in O’Fallon, Edwardsville and Carbondale, Illinois. He will be assisted in this investigation by attorneys and staff of the firm.

Persons with information regarding possible waste, fraud or financial mismanagement within the school district are encouraged to confidentially provide this information to Cox by contacting him directly at P.O. Box 475, Carbondale, Illinois, 62903, or by email at

For more information on the investigation, visit

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