Chicago Public Schools Is Suing Barbara Byrd-Bennett For $65 Million
By Sam Stecklow in News on Mar 10, 2016 8:43PM
The Chicago Board of Election and Chicago Public Schools filed a joint lawsuit against disgraced former CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett in circuit court Thursday. They're suing her and conspirators for $65 million over a corruption scandal involving her former employer, SUPES Academy.
"Barbara Byrd-Bennett and her co-conspirators knew the District's dire straits and still concocted this scheme to divert needed resources away from classrooms and line their own pockets," current CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said in a statement. "So today CPS took action in Cook County court to go after the $65 million in damages and civil penalties that our children are entitled to receive. With serious budget challenges facing the district, we'll continue to fight for every dollar our children deserve.”
The lawsuit reads, in part, "[Byrd-Bennett and SUPES] have stolen money from [CPS] and the schoolchildren of the City of Chicago, and that money should be returned." In a written statement released after her guilty plea in October, Byrd-Bennett said, "There is nobody to blame but me, and my failings could not have come at a time of greater challenges for CPS."
Notoriously, she said in an email that she'd entered into the rigged arrangement that she had "tuition to pay and casinos to visit." In another email, she expressed anger that aides of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who hired her, were taking a second look at SUPES' $20 million no-bid contract. “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," she wrote.
Read the full lawsuit embedded below: