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Busted: This Chicago School Chief Was Taking Kickbacks

Busted. This Chicago public school executive might face over 7 years in prison for a bribery and kickback scheme that involved over $23 million.

The Wall Street Journal reports: 

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.

…“I am terribly sorry, and I apologize to them. They deserve much more than I gave to them,” Ms. Byrd-Bennett said. 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.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and this story is a disappointing reminder that the larger the government, the more opportunities there are for individuals to abuse their authority. School choice provides the opportunity for children to escape the shady practices of entrenched leadership like Barbara Byrd-Bennett. Chicago kids deserve better than a system guided by a leader with no moral compass.

Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Deneen is a contributor with Newsmax Broadcasting. She is a former Fox News contributor and has appeared regularly on “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “America’s Newsroom.” She has also appeared on Fox Business Network programs “Making Money with Charles Payne,” “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald,” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” Previously, Deneen appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. In addition to television, Deneen co-hosted radio programs on the SiriusXM Patriot channel with her husband Tom. Recently, Deneen co-hosted the Reigniting Liberty podcast with Tom. Deneen is a frequent speaker at political events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12.2009 March on D.C. which drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen is also an Ambassador with, a social media platform that promotes free speech, and with the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) which advances policies that put Americans first. Deneen testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in May 2011 and before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee in December 2011. Previously, Deneen was a host, Outreach Director with overseeing its outreach program, a Project 21 Senior Fellow, and Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Prior to joining CORE, Deneen worked at Philip Morris USA for 20 years. During her corporate career at Philip Morris she worked in various positions, her last as Project Management Coordinator in the Information Management department where she was responsible for the department’s mandated quality processes, communications, sales information and database management. Deneen began her Philip Morris career as a secretary and advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities. Deneen worked full-time and attended classes at night for 11 years to earn her B.A. in Managerial Marketing from Pace University, New York City. Deneen served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. She appeared in educational videos for children, worked as a runway fashion model, and auditioned for television commercials. Her interests include ancient history, pistol target shooting, photography, and volunteering at her church. Deneen currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Tom.

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