Barbara Byrd-Bennett Now Has A Rare Opportunity

Barbara Byrd-Bennett Now Has A Rare Opportunity

Since news of the indictment became front page fodder for all Chicago Political Commentary News Junkies Barbara to absorb, Byrd-Bennett Now Has A Rare Opportunity To Blow The Doors Wide Open for them and expose how Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City That Works Really Works.

And believe it or not, I am saying this in the most kindest of ways because the woman who is at the heart of the latest CPS scandal is the only one seemingly willing to "fully cooperate with authorities" whereas the other co-conspirators don't or won't.

So let's call an ace an ace shall we Barbara Byrd-Bennett?

I believe that any key insider to a crime must divulge "true and meaningful information in exchange for a lighter sentence." In other words everything is conditional on nailing the other sleazebags involved in this conspiracy. And let's face it - this doesn't appear to be the first rodeo for Gary Soloman and/or Thomas Vranas.

And I really don't care what the attorney's for Soloman and/or Vranas have to say about "value or something tangible being given the school system" because no amount of dog-wagging or story spinning will change the fact that I believe their contracts were obtained criminally.

A crime has been committed by way of a conspiracy. And in my book a heinous one at that because their scheme directly impacted our most precious and valuable resource - the children of the Chicago Public School System. People should not forget either that that scheme more likely than not had something to do with the decision to close 50 Schools.

Schools in areas that deserve and require an equal and level playing field!

Naturally, this sort of maneuvering by the Board of Education isn't anything new when it comes to blighted areas of the city. They are always the first one's to be stripped of vital resources and that goes back for as long as I can remember. Still it is plain wrong!

So Barbara Byrd-Bennett do you have enough courage to tell us all how exactly this age-old game is played or will you be silly enough to protect those who tempted you and your greed in the first place? I mean that is what you want people to ultimately believe about you isn't it? That it was Gary Soloman (whose own murky past) and his partner Tom Vranas who put you up to this?

Again this plea deal or whatever the Federal Authorities are offering you in exchange for your spilling the beans must be conditional on you swearing to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God!

I think most people understand that no one really walks into a position of power without the help of others - especially when it comes to political positions and appointments. It is what it is - still some agreements and arrangements go well beyond the pale.

Especially since there must have been some juicy opportunities for Barbara Byrd-Bennett to avail herself of given that Gary Soloman and Tom Vranas owns and operates three north suburban educational firms - SUPES Academy, Synesi and an educator search firm called PROACT Search. And it would seem, at least in my own mind, that Gary Soloman knew this as he advocated for her hiring at CPS.

You know, the more I read about this, the more sleazy it seems to get. And I have to tell you - that this is exactly the sort of corruption that I abhor.

We are talking millions upon millions of dollars and when you add up all the "job opportunities" between Barbara Byrd-Bennett and Gary Soloman in Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago well I suspect there is more than meets the eye between the co-conspirators.

What I don't understand, though, is how Barbara Byrd-Bennett would even consider working with or even shielding Gary Soloman given that he allegedly referred to African-American people as “mooks, shines, burrheads, yard apes, porch monkeys,” and several other racially offensive terms.

If what the Chicago Sun-Times Article that I read that in is true then I have to wonder exactly how Barbara Byrd-Bennett feels her relationship with Gary Soloman was based on? And believe me, I hate bringing up racism because as much as I abhor political corruption I abhor racism even more.

It also raises the question as what sort of business do Gary Soloman and Thomas Vranas operate? Is any of it built on Educational Ideals or is it really what it seems to be - a Big Fast Money Mill?




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  • I'm not sure after reading this whether you want B3 to blow a bigger whistle on Soloman and Vranas than what the feds already have on them, or you think she has a whistle to blow on Emanuel. As I mentioned in my first post, we have Cleveland and Skokie crooks here. Maybe 3B was somewhere else when the Blago stuff happened, or the only thing she learned from that was get the money before the feds bust you.

    You also imply the question of the source of recommendations from which Emanuel selected Brizard, BB-B, and the like, but unless there is bribery or wire fraud involved, that's not in the U.S. Attorney's jurisdiction. Similarly, it is not in the U.S. Atty.'s jurisdiction to determine why every Emanuel board votes unanimously and does not exercise oversight. You mentioned that the current situation was ironic, but it appears to be standard operating procedure. I'd at least yell at, and maybe sue, my condo board if they acted like that.

  • In reply to jack:

    Sorry for the delay - blood test day. Anyhow was going to ask you about the basis behind the "mail fraud / wire fraud" counts - is that because of the email correspondence or because the indicted screwed school systems in three cities; Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago?

    As to my point: I believe she has the opportunity to open up against everyone involved as I am convinced that it goes well beyond just the three principles here. So yeah blow a bigger whistle even if it is just to cleanse her own soul and letting people know just how corrupt the entire system is. After all this is not the first nor the last of money "siphoning" from CPS. It is has been rife so me thinks there are others pulling some strings behind the scenes. It has been way to easy to rip off CPS (and METRA and Tollway and . . . . ?)

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    On your first paragraph, it is a simple question that the feds have jurisdiction over wire and mail fraud because it has an impact on commerce; hence the use of e-mail was sufficient if used to further the bribery or extortion. Another jurisdictional basis alleged in the indictment is that CPS received more than $10,000 in federal funding in each of the 3 years at issue.

    There are so many counts, because each e-mail becomes a count because it was sent in furtherance of the scheme.

    All the allegations have to do with CPS, so Detroit and Cleveland don't enter into it.

    I originally tried to make the point that the U.S.Atty. only has a mandate to investigate crimes, not malfeasance.

    Thanks for explaining your view of the bigger whistle. However, I figure (a) the FBI saw enough as a result of its raids, (b) she supposedly offered to talk, but reports are that S & V are also going to cop pleas, and thus she does not have to testify against them, hence (3) she might have something on someone else at SUPES or CPS, but, being an outsider, it isn't going to get down to the Metra case of "Madigan stuck his nose into it." However, I'm not that good at detective work, and will admit I did not know, at the time, why the FBI raided CPS.

  • In reply to jack:

    I don't know if you are just being modest or not about not being good at detective work or not Jack but you are definitely good at being a legal beagle. Absolutely amazing how Federal Charges can work against someone. At least I now understand it better when the "the jig is up," thanks!

    And since these charges are all about CPS I would imagine that authorities in Cleveland and Detroit will eventually have their day in all this. After all their city finances aren't much better than that of Chicago and will probably be looking to answer to their taxpayers ire. Besides I would image that the same holds true about "Federal Funding" in those locales.

    So as I said in the post about things I abhor I just want to see people who keep taking advantage of our tax dollars (and good graces) get what is owed them i.e. a nice 6x8 you know?

    p.s. According to this morning's Tribune: "Prosecutors said Byrd-Bennett is cooperating with the ongoing investigation and has agreed to postpone her sentencing until after the charges against her co-defendants have been resolved."

    So who knows maybe B3 is scared shitless enough to do the right thing on behalf of all the children who have been impacted by her and the scum who enticed her need for greed!

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    However (see my point b, above), you seem to want more than just something on her codefendants, unless they were also involved in schemes in Cleveland and Detroit.

  • In reply to jack:

    Oh I definitely believe Soloman and Vranas are knee deep in all three cities since news reports have linked her employment in Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland to at least Soloman. Hell if possible I wouldn't object a trip to "Old Sparky" for these guys - so good thing I'm not on a Jury or in the Queens Court so I could shout "Off with their heads in harmony with her Royal Highness. So much for the Rabbit Hole!

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    Your instincts are correct, to the extent that law enforcement is looking into Detroit (Tribune).

  • In reply to jack:

    Hopefully Cleveland does its due diligence as well.

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