Wheaton man sentenced to 40 years in murder-for-hire case

WHEATON – A man found guilty of soliciting the murder of county officials was sentenced to 40 years in prison July 19, according to a news release from the DuPage County State's Attorney.

Gordon Vanderark, 56, formerly of Wheaton, attempted to hire a fellow inmate, Harold Myers, to murder Judge Blanch Fawell and Assistant State's Attorney Audrey Anderson upon Myers' release. Both of the officials participated in the trial that put Vanderark in prison for Aggravated Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, his tenth conviction. He also wanted Myers to kill Vanderark's wife and a man who held his power of attorney.

Vanderark paid Myers $2,100 of a promised $70,000 payment to prove he was serious. Myers eventually wrote to Judge Fawell to warn her of the plot and strapped a recording device to himself during his stay in prison.

Vanderark will be required to serve 85 percent of the sentence before he is eligible for parole. 40 years will be added to the 16 years he received for the previous aggravated DUI charge.