Former Chicago charity head charged with misusing donations

The former executive director of a Chicago-based charity pleaded not guilty Monday to using thousands of dollars in donations for personal expenses.

Rudolph Harper, 63, is charged with theft of more than $100,000, and misuse of charitable trust funds, according to court records and Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office.

Harper used to head the Organization of New City, created to help low-income homeowners pay their mortgages on time to avoid foreclosure, Madigan’s office said.

But he allegedly used thousands of dollars worth of those donations for “personal gain.”

“The defendant betrayed the charitable mission of this organization, allegedly choosing to enrich himself by stealing from donors who made contributions and the families who rely on the organization’s services,” Madigan said in a statement.

On Monday, Rudolph pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance, court records show.