Scam within scam: Feds say ex-North Side principal stole money employees helped her trick out of CPS


The alleged yearslong scam at the North Side elementary school appeared to have noble intentions — squeezing extra money out of the Chicago Public Schools to pay for legitimate classroom expenses.

But the feds say as much as $200,000 really went elsewhere — including to pay the mortgage on the home of then-Brennemann Elementary School Principal Sarah Jackson Abedelal.

Now the onetime school principal has been hit with 10 counts of wire fraud in a new federal indictment. Abedelal pleaded not guilty through her lawyer during an afternoon court appearance. Prosecutors said she was arrested at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Abedelal’s lawyer, Steven Decker, later described his client in an email as “a well-respected principal and educator.”

“If true, these charges represent a betrayal of trust unbecoming of any public servant, especially those who serve students and families,” CPS said in its own statement. “This type of conduct has no place at…

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