Federal prosecutors have recommended a seven and a half year jail sentence for former Chicago Public Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett who pleaded guilty to corruption charges in 2015.
Prosecutors said that Byrd-Bennett was fully aware that the city’s school system was in a financial meltdown long before she became head of the schools; she worked a scam to receive kickbacks for steering up to $23 million in no-bid contracts to a consulting firm where she once worked, WGN TV reports.
Prosecutors criticized the former educrat for working to “enrich herself and her co-schemers at the expense” of the city, the taxpayers, and the students of Chicago.
While admitting to the “extraordinary breach of trust,” Byrd-Bennett’s defense team asked for only a three and a half year sentence.
By October of 2015, the former schools chief pleaded guilty to the charges and now faces a sentencing hearing.
The trial was further complicated by former Obama chief of staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel who refused to supply the court with documents detailing Byrd-Bennett’s relationship with the mayor’s office.
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