The chancellor of the District of Columbia’s public schools asked a food-service contractor for a $100,000 contribution to a Kennedy Center gala honoring teachers, weeks after the company was accused in a whistleblower lawsuit of cheating the city out of millions of dollars, according to emails obtained by the Associated Press.
The messages, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, shed new light on dealings between school leaders and a contractor that, according to court documents, cheated the system out of $19 million and served spoiled food to students. The company and its local partner gave $25,000 to support the black-tie gala.
A district spokeswoman said Chancellor Kaya Henderson plays an important role in fundraising for the nonprofit D.C. Education Fund, yet there is “a firm wall between the management of DCPS contracts and [such] fundraising.”
A version of this article appeared in the April 27, 2016 edition of Education Week as D.C. Chancellor Asked Contractor for Donation