Chicago Rocked by Scandal: Ex-Head of Schools Pleads Guilty in Kickbacks Scheme

Chicago Rocked by Scandal: Ex-Head of Schools Pleads Guilty in Kickbacks Scheme

Gee, more corruption in that old toddlin’ town of Chicago. The former head of the nation’s third largest school district just plead guilty to steering $23 million in no-bid contracts to education firms. For her troubles, she made a cool $2.3 million in kickbacks and bribes. Only problem is, she got caught. Not to worry, justice is in short supply, so instead of having to answer to all 20 counts of fraud, which carried a maximum sentence of 20 years each, she made a plea deal for one count and was never even arrested. She’s a black teacher in Chicago… see how that works? Barbara Byrd-Bennett was hired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. She resigned earlier this year because she had no choice. Two education execs have also been indicted. The miracle is that these people were charged with anything at all. The teacher’s union has distanced themselves from her, but wish her well. How nice.

Chicago Guilty

From Breitbart:

CHICAGO (AP) — The former head of the nation’s 3rd largest school district has pleaded guilty to charges in an alleged scheme to steer $23 million in no-bid contracts to education firms for $2.3 million in bribes and kickbacks.

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Barbara Byrd-Bennett entered her guilty plea Tuesday in federal court.

Her attorney said just hours after the former Chicago Public Schools CEO was indicted on Oct. 8 that she would plead guilty as part of a deal with prosecutors. She was never arrested.

The 66-year-old faced 20 fraud counts, each with a maximum 20-year prison term. But under the plea agreement, she pleaded guilty to one fraud count. All others will be dismissed.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel hired Byrd-Bennett as CEO in 2012. She resigned earlier this year.

Two education company executives were also indicted.

Federal prosecutors are seeking a sentence of 7 1/2 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang will sentence the 66-year-old at a later date. The indictment alleges the owners of two education service and training companies’ offered Byrd-Bennett a job and a hefty one-time payment — disguised as a lucrative signing bonus — once she left CPS. “If you only join for the day, you will be the highest paid person on the planet for that day,” one of the executives wrote in an email about the bonus, according to the indictment. This in a town that shut down tons of schools over the last two years because there weren’t enough funds. The indictment alleged Byrd-Bennett expected to receive kickbacks worth 10 percent of the value of the contracts, or about $2.3 million. It’s unclear how much money was ever set aside, though the indictment says trust accounts tied to her relatives — identified as Relatives A and B — were set up to hide the money. In an email to one of the executives sent on Sept. 10, 2012, Byrd-Bennett wrote about her apparent eagerness to make money: “I have tuition to pay and casinos to visit.” Her corruption started the minute she was hired by Rahm. Looks like business as usual in Chicago.

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton is an editor and writer for Right Wing News. She owns and blogs at She is a Constitutional Conservative and NoisyRoom focuses on political and national issues of interest to the American public. Terresa is the editor at Trevor Loudon's site, New Zeal - She also does research at You can email Terresa here. NoisyRoom can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

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