Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Good Governance in the Schools ... Chicago Style

We the People have every reason and right to expect and demand good government from our public officials --- or do we?

For an answer, let's look briefly at what happened in Chicago with the financial oversight of the city's schools over the past several years.

Former Chicago Schools Chief Pleads Guilty in Kickback Scheme has this summary:

"The former chief executive of the nation’s third-largest school district pleaded guilty to fraud Tuesday, just days after being indicted in what prosecutors described as a kickback and bribery scheme.

Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who resigned as chief executive of Chicago Public Schools earlier this year, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. Under the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend the 66-year-old be sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison. . . .

The plea came less than a week after Ms. Byrd-Bennett was indicted on 20 counts of wire and mail fraud connected to what prosecutors said was a scheme to steer more than $23 million in school district contracts to two consulting firms for which she once worked. . . .

Prosecutors said Ms. Byrd-Bennett received such benefits as sports tickets and meals, and agreed to have accounts set up in the names of her relatives to accept payments from the firms. Such payments were based on a percentage of the contracts the firm received and became a “signing bonus”. . . .

The plea by Ms. Byrd-Bennett is the latest blow to the school district here, which is struggling with mounting fiscal problems. Her indictment has put new pressure on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who appointed her chief executive in the fall of 2012."

Summing Up

Chicago politics is as corrupt as ever.

We the People deserve better ---- or do we?

So be informed, think things through, vote your conscience, and vote responsibly.

And don't give crooks a pass.

That's my take.

Thanks. Bob.

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