Beena Patel, an Indian-origin woman, has been indicted for lying to a federal grand jury investigating possible hiring violations in a circuit court office in Chicago.
Beena Patel, 55, a former associate clerk in the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, lied under oath to a federal grand jury when she denied selling tickets for the Clerk’s campaign fundraisers to other employees in the office, according to a federal indictment returned on Thursday in US District Court in Chicago.
The indictment charges Patel, who is from Chicago, with three counts of making false declarations before a grand jury. Each count carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Patel sold fundraiser tickets to colleagues in the Clerk’s office and knew that other employees did the same, the indictment states. The fundraisers were held several times each year by an entity that raises money for the Clerk’s campaign fund.
Patel, a former associate clerk who supervised close to 500 employees, entered her plea in a brief hearing before U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve, reported Chicago Tribune. She was released on her own recognizance and ordered to have no contact with victims or witnesses in the indictment, including Brown, her chief of staff and a clerk’s office employee — identified in the charges as Individual D — who allegedly was promoted after her brother donated to Brown’s campaign.
In her grand jury testimony in July 2016, Patel denied ever selling the tickets herself or knowing of other employees doing the same, the charges allege. She also denied speaking to Brown’s chief of staff about the 2015 promotion of Individual D. Patel also said she didn’t recall telling the employee that Brown was going to call her about the raise and that she should “act surprised,” according to a transcript of her testimony.