Read Ex-Schools Chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett's Angry Emails To City Hall
By Kate Shepherd in News on Oct 9, 2015 9:46PM
Ex-Chicago Public Schools Chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett was furious when the mayor's administration questioned her no-bid, $20.5 million contract for former employer SUPES Academy in 2013, newly released emails reveal.
Byrd-Bennett, who is expected to plead guilty to federal corruption charges regarding the contract, wrote an angry email to Emanuel's top education aide Beth Swanson when she questioned the deal in 2013, the Sun-Times reports:
"I cannot be second-guessed like this. The level of micro-managing by people who have no track record and have not lead [sic] or managed anything is in some way insulting."
"Venting but this is renal for me. I wear all of the problems...no credit for anything positive and now everything...is micro questioned."
"Either people think I can do this or ... what do they want?"
The Sun-Times has more of Byrd-Bennett's emails, in which she repeatedly tells aides that she is concerned about City Hall questioning her authority.
Just two days after she sent that email to Swanson, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's six Chicago Board of Education appointees unanimously approved the SUPES no-bid contract. She schemed to get a 10 percent kickback on all of the contracts she could award to SUPES, according to federal prosecutors.
Byrd-Bennett was hand-picked by Emanuel to succeed Jean-Claude Brizard as schools chief in 2012. She resigned in June because of the federal corruption probe into the SUPES contract.