10 AM: CPS just issued a press advisor saying that Board Vice President Clare Munana is going to make a statement at 10:30 about board expenditures and financial controls, but will not take questions afterwards. Is this about Scott's spending, or about other issues? I don't know.
UPDATED: Yep, it's about Board spending. Here's a video of the Munana statement, and a Tribune update.
125 S. Clark Street, Events & Deadlines
any update on this announcement
here's a bit of an update, though nothing specific yet
also not particularly satisfying
Just curious -- did the CPS press release describe the 10:30 a.m. statement by Ms. Munana as an "emergency announcement"?
There seems to be no coverage of it anywhere.
Just posted . . .
thanks, matt -- apparently there's a new, broad investigation of board members spending.
here's a 13 minute video of munana's statement, for all you diehards.
Gee--is this new news? I bet nothing happens to any of these members past or present! Eugene Saffold anyone? If it was a principal, they would remove or suspend that principal yesterday!
I would suggest that acting Board President Munana also immediately draft a motion to modify the new rules for the Board of Education passed just last July that removed the requirement that the Board have a standing budget/audit committee with public meetings. The root of corruption is this Board's complete lack of transparancy. The story posted by Matt Farmer indicates that CPS is hiring Walter Jones a former federal prosecutor to conduct the investigation.
Hiring an outside investigator is a nice first step assuming Mr. Jones has complete autonomy. I may be mistaken but I believe Mr. Jones is a partner with Pugh, Jones, Johnson, & Quandt PC. This firm has had contracts with CPS for many years in relation to property tax cases.
My understanding is Mr. Jones is an expert in the RICO Act. I assume based on established standards there is no conflict in Mr. Jones carrying out this investigation. But if this is the same Jones from this firm that I am seeing in the firm listing I honestly think CPS should consider using another expert whose firm is not associated in anyway with CPS.
THIS is C-Y-A at the taxpayers expense. We are paying for this!
Documents will go missing, things will be destroyed and hidden and we will not even know that they did this. The wolves are leading the sheep.
CPS would NEVER use an independant law or audit firm. NEVER.
What a crock of s--t. Even when they caught Michael Scott charging a $3,000.00 trip to Copenhagen - Completely non-school related and it included his wife's expenses... THEY DID S--T! Michael Smith should had been charged with felony theft! Now his wife will collect a big pension for the rest of her life after Michael Scott ripped the f--k out of the city. Had that been a teacher... HE WOULD HAVE BEEN CHARGED AND ARRESTED!
You got that right!
But Michael Scott paid the ultimate price. He has stated that he did not like to lose, even at bid whist!
He took control and played his final frame.
Working for daley was a losing game.
Michael Scoot worked for FREE. No board of ed members get a salary for their work. He got a monthly expense with a defined limit and transportation for working more than a full time job, consequently his wife receives no pension. The same applies to his time with the park district no salary no pension. He was a good man who worked for the people.
Mr. Scott's salary and retirement savings obviously came from his full time employment unrelated to the Board of Ed.
Not to quibble, but I'd hardly call a $36,000 expense account with minimal to no oversight working for FREE. That's about the amount of money that first-year teachers earn for a year's work. Are they also working for FREE? Hardly.
COVER UP AND MOP UP OPERATION.
the documents are public documents.
how can they interfere with an investigation when they are suppose to be public.
sounds like a straight cover up by this new $295/hr attorney.
by the way that is below the standard wages of a good attorney. so that in itself tells the story. usually investigatory commissions pay above regular rates or nothing at all because the officials investigating are accomplished public officials or attorneys.
no transparency to pay $295/hr to investigate missing cps money.
new clown is in town.
It is now confirmed that Mr.Jones is a partner with Pugh, Jones, Johnson, & Quandt PC. This firm has done considerable legal work for CPS and hence Mr. Jones is completely unacceptable to play the role Ms. Munana, the rest of the Board, and Mr Rocks the CPS General Counsel has established for him.
I have not done an exhaustive search of CPS law department funds spent on services with Pugh, Jones, Johnson, & Quandt PC. But just looking at a hand full of CPS Board reports I found $475,000 in payments made to this law firm. The relevant Board reports are as follows: 08-0924-AR2, 08-0326-AR3, 06-0823-AR3, 07-1114-AR5, 06-1220-AR3.
The Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct for attornies relating to conflicts of interest do not appear to apply in this unique situation where the Board of Education is investigating itself and has hired a firm to conduct such an investigation. However on the face of it having the Board of Education hire a firm that has on going bussiness with it to investigate itself seems questionable.
I think a more appropriate approach would be to request that the Illinois State Board of Education conduct an investigation of the CPS Board. Legally ISBE has the authority to do this and ISBE could elect to hire an outside investigator if necessary to examine CPS Board expenditures and relevant laws relating to school districts in Illinois.
yes, ISBE where are you? The Chicago Board of Eduction needs an investigation--ISBE does this with much smaller districts. Where are you ISBE? You cannot allow the Chicago Board to hire attornies that already get paid because of this Bord. This is all so boldly corrupt! Where are the Trib and Suntimes' editorials scolding the the Board for this? One can imagine the 'voice' that spoke to Munana--you know, like the voice of god in Network--telling her what to do and what to say and who to hire. It is all so smarmy.
Tribune: "At Scott's first meeting as president on March 25, board members doubled their spending allowance from $12,000 a year to $24,000. Scott's allowance jumped from $19,200 a year to $36,000. The allowable expenses include telephone charges, transportation to and from board events, purchase of newspapers and journals, and miscellaneous supplies.
"But the policy apparently left oversight of spending largely in Scott's hands. Under the policy, Scott would approve his own spending and that of fellow board members, who were required to submit a voucher showing the "necessity for the expense."
"No other accounting or receipts for particular expenses shall be required," according to the new board policy."
I don't know about you, but someone (taxpayers) paying my way for carfare, reading materials (surely about how to improve schools), meals with edu-associates (in backrooms or not), etc., all add up to a form of "payment" even if it's not a salary or wage. Hardly working for FREE. I'd have to wonder how many hours some of these board members work at their "fulltime" jobs. Don't they get release time, if they're on someone's payroll. If they're independent business people, then I doubt they're making a clear distinction between their regular business and their board business.
Also, in the press conference, CPS stated that the investigation will include review of board AND staff expenses.
Board vice-president Clare Mu
from the tribune and sun times:
The board will hire Walter Jones, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice, to conduct the investigation. He is to be paid $295 an hour.
Newly hired attorney Walter Jones Jr. promptly said he could not release documents the media requested about Scott's expenditures because to do so would interfere with another investigation by the schools inspector general.
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I grew up near Roscoe & Halsted in the 1970s, left for college and moved back in 2000, started this blog in 2005 (first on my own, then with Catalyst, and now with ChicagoNow). My dad went to Senn. I went to Near North Montessori and Parker. Since 2006 I've been living in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn -- the Wicker Park of New York City. I have another education blog called This Week In Education that focuses on school reform trends at the national level.