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Up To 10 Municipal Employees Under Scrutiny In Markham After Receiving Paycheck Protection Program Loans Without Any Prior Record Of Their Businesses

MARKHAM, Ill. (CBS) -- Earlier this month, CBS 2's Jermont Terry confronted Markham police Officer Kenneth Muldrow about an unlicensed landscaping business for which he used the address of the south suburb's city hall and police station.

Muldrow is no longer on the streets after he was exposed by CBS 2 and an investigation was launched. Meanwhile, Terry has since discovered Muldrow is not the only municipal employee in Markham with an unlicensed business the city doesn't know about.

In fact, up to 10 Markham municipal employees have now found themselves right on the city's radar. They all received federal tax dollars from the federal Paycheck Protection Program that was intended to keep small businesses afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic closures, and city leaders want to know why there is no record that any of those employees' businesses before now.

Weeks after CBS 2 uncovered more than 1,400 possible ghost businesses in Markham, the city took another step to find out why people who received those federal tax dollars never registered their businesses locally.

"We are casting a wider net within the city," said Markham City Administrator Derrick Champion. "It's no witch hunt for one particular individual."

As Champion walked City Hall in Markham, he revealed the probe now entails entering the names of every city employee into the federal Paycheck Protection Program database – and that is when more red flags appeared.

"There are several," Champion said. "Anywhere between five and 10."

Indeed, up to 10 current Markham city employees find themselves in the same predicament as Officer Muldrow.

"As of today, Kenneth Muldrow is no longer patrolling the streets of Markham," Champion said.

The officer is on paid administrative leave. An internal affairs investigation is trying to pinpoint why he failed to disclose his landscaping company.

CBS 2 showed how Muldrow received a PPP loan for $20,000 for the unlicensed business. When Terry confronted Muldrow about it, he first claimed he was not Muldrow and then denied having a lawn care service.

Yet last week on Muldrow's Facebook page, someone wrote, "I have a legitimate business that is in good standing."

If that is the case, Champion said: "There are certain rules – especially our police officers – they have to let us know about other employment or business opportunities."

The City of Markham learned about the officer's business only after our story aired. On his PPP application, Officer Muldrow said he has been operating for at least two years.

Now, the city wants to know the same about those up to 10 other municipal employees now under investigation.

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