News in Brief
Former Chicago Chief Pleads Guilty in Corruption Probe
Former Chicago schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett pleaded guilty last week to a single count of wire fraud, stemming from a federal investigation that led to charges that she steered more than $23 million in contracts to a former employer in exchange for kickbacks and bribes.
Byrd-Bennett, 66, who resigned from the district in June, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and fines. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors are expected to seek a 7½-year sentence, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Federal prosecutors said she steered contracts for principal training to the SUPES Academy and Synesi Associates. In exchange, she was promised a consulting job at SUPES Academy after she retired from the Chicago district, along with a "signing bonus."
An investigation into separate possible contract improprieties has now been launched in Detroit, where she was chief academic officer from 2009 to 2011.
Vol. 35, Issue 09, Page 4Published in Print: October 21, 2015, as Former Chicago Chief Pleads Guilty in Corruption Probe