CPS Scandal More Than An Embarrassment

CPS Scandal More Than An Embarrassment
Barbara Byrd-Bennett Image: ChiTribune Antonio Perez

Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Supes Academy and CPS Scandal Are More Than An Embarrassment or a Criminal Conspiracy – It Is A Clarion Call For An Elected School Board. The Chicago Public School (CPS) System Can No Longer Be The Corrupt Political Appointment Apparatus It Has Become.

However, let’s not delude ourselves either because the City of Chicago has a long history of political corruption and elections by themselves won’t guarantee that what  former CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and Supes Academy Co-Owners Gary Soloman and Thomas Vranas did won’t happen again. And that is regardless of what the attorney for Soloman and Vranas said “about this being some sort of “errors in judgement” being made or that there was a value in what they provided to CPS.

That is just pure B.S. so far as I can tell.

As a matter of fact the only errors in judgement made by Gary Soloman, Thomas Vranas and/or Barbara Byrd-Bennett was that they were arrogant enough to think they wouldn’t be caught given the long trail of damning emails that were left behind!

So lets be very clear here – the only reason these co-conspirators are cooperating with Federal Authorities is to lessen their sentences and fines!

But make no mistakes here, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Gary Soloman and Thomas Vranas have had a relationship that goes way beyond the Chicago Public Schools and it is my hope that the Feds take a very long and hard look into ALL of their business dealings. And so far as I am concerned the notion that the victims received something of value, as stated by the attorney representing Supes, well that should be taken with a very, very tiny grain of salt.

Especially given that sweet email exchange between Barbara Bennett-Byrd and Gary Soloman in which she allegedly “I have tuition to pay and casinos to visit.” This, of course, was all designed to enrich the co-conspirators and leave the children attending CPS institutions and its’ Taxpayers high and dry!

These type of people are incredibly corrupt and any deals to lighten their crimes would be an insult to law-abiding citizens!

And anyone thinking that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel should not be held unaccountable better think twice about that as Barbara Byrd-Bennett was HIS PERSONAL CHOICE when he maneuvered for the the resignation of Jean-Claude Brizard. Now I was no fan of Brizard either but that was because I had the time to do my homework on him. Which Rahm Emanuel evidently did not do with either CEO.

So Mister Mayor – please don’t stand there making any pithy statements of how disappointed you are for this latest betrayal of trust. The betrayal began when appointments were not properly vetted by you or your administration.

Matter of fact, vetting doesn’t seem to be a priority given the fact that your Chief of Police Garry McCarthy was allowed to promote Constantine G. “Dean” Andrews to Chicago Chief of Detectives after this man created a fictitious witness statement that helped prevent Richard “RJ” Vanecko, former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s nephew, from initially being charged with the killing David Koschman.

But that’s another story I wrote extensively about isn’t it Mister Mayor?

In the meantime, I remain completely baffled as to how Chicago Residents and Voters can remain as content as they are living in a city that (a) is infected by corrupt politicians and political appointments sucking them dry while also knowing they have (b) a Police Department and a Cook County States Attorney’s Office that literally picks and chooses which laws they will obey or uphold despite their sacred oaths to Serve and Protect All Citizens of Chicago.

You know, I keep saying that you get what you pay for but how do you justify that when looking into your children’s eyes when their future opportunities are being tampered with? Are you going to keep accepting the Status Quo or will you demand change?

As usual, this is just one man’s opinion but I hope you will consider what’s been said today.

However, if you need more in-depth information on the latest scandal, here are a few good places to begin:


Chicago Tribune

Indictment PDF

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  • Looks like Skokie and Cleveland crooks involved, but anyway...

    Andy Shaw was just on and made the similar point that where was the Board of Ed and Emanuel appointed the whole bunch. I doubt that an elected school board is the cure, but this is again indicative of Rahm knows best and doesn't listen to anyone, except with CPS this modus operandi has bad consequences. I brought this up with Berkowitz when he was singing the praises of Claypool and said that this attitude at the CTA was just "procedure," until Claypool did the same thing at a "hearing" with regard to some charter school. Since Claypool seems incompetent at both CTA and CPS, I wonder if he is considered clean because he's too dumb to steal, or if he really isn't clean. That also gets to the letter I sent you about the radicals of the past becoming the political machine of today, while guys like Berkowitz live in the past.

    But getting back to Emanuel:
    (1) What choice did the voters have between him and a candidate pushed by the teachers' union, who, when back on the Crook County Board, provided the needed vote to increase the sales tax?
    (2) Is the Black Caucus really going to stick it to him over McCarthy, or be the usual rubber stamps?
    (3) Does Rahm figure he'll raise the property tax and get the hell out? Or does he really get off doing his imitation of Putin?

    Finally, speaking of convicts, ABC7 just promoted Betty Loren Maltese's lawn sale.

  • In reply to jack:

    I hear you Jack. So little changes around here - heck I could have been in a 10 year coma rather than undergoing all the medical procedures and surgeries I endured and awoke to the same old shit.......then again it the same old shit isn't it?

    As for Andy Shaw sometimes I really wonder??? And I'll just leave it at that but so far as Forrest Claypool well I don't think he is dishonest per se. I mean is he connected? Sure is but I think he at least genuinely tries most of the time. I could be wrong but just the way I feel. Either that or I am a little more forgiving after all this turmoil I had.

    Loren Maltese? Well at this point I will forgive her - but that is conditional. Seems as though she just wants to get her daughter through school and after all she did pay her penance right? Served her time, lost her pension, etc.. Given that I don't think she should have have to keep paying society back unless I am missing something Jack. Am I?

    Anyhow good to chat with you you are still one of my favorite of favorites and hope all is good with you and yours.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    Betty--my gripe is more Channel 7 giving her the free publicity rather than whether she should have the right to sell her Emmett Kelly action figures.

    I agree that certain people have served their time and that should be sufficient, but then there is the unrepentent George Ryan saying that felons should have the slate wiped clean. I'm less in favor of that than reappraising whether a 15 year old engaged in some "child's play," but now recorded on a phone that is smarter than he is should be branded for life as a sex offender.

    Somehow, you didn't react to my Emanuel the dictator point.

  • In reply to jack:

    The free advertising bothers me too especially how she used to deride them - but and here is the big but - - I really do think she has learned her lesson unlike former Governor Ryan. It is pretty obvious he is still deluding himself that he did nothing wrong.

    So while Ryan and Maltese could have been thrown into the same hat at one time I can give her a pass on this one if only for the reason it is about looking out for her kid's future. Now if it were for any other reason I would definitely take another view by media's aid.

    So as you eloquently said - it really does depends on who and what the circumstances are.

    As for the Dictator Rahm: first I agree with you unequivocally and second you probably more than anyone know what I think of him. There are times, though, that I am less inclined to jump on the bandwagon after a comment by you or someone else hits the bulls eye even if the comments were posed as questions.

    Rahm has a history and quite frankly it isn't a good one. Even scarier, though, is that those he associates with are just as sleazy as he is. Look at the bonus money he made off of Freddie Mac! Nothing and I mean nothing he does, says or the people he chooses to insulate himself with doesn't surprise me or other intelligent people.

    These rats are all cut from the same cloth and the Gangsters of Chicago Old had nothing over the latest crop!

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    I had to look up the Freddie Mac one. Looks like one of Bill Clinton's going away presents. While it doesn't seem direct extortion, the reports have a commonality to the present mess--he was a board member paid for the position who didn't exercise any oversight--just like most of the members of the various boards he appoints as mare, just that those do nothing jobs don't pay like that one did.

  • In reply to jack:

    Indeed but it is that commonality that almost makes this ironic as 3B tried to stick it to everyone concerned. I suppose, though, that Rahm was fortunate that someone in his administration (Beth Swanson and/or Lisa Schrader) was either looking out for him or doing their job although the Tribune seems to be implying Rahm knew more than he has been claiming. Either way seems to me there is some Honor Among Thieves regarding this.

  • Maybe this Sun-Times article gets to the heart of the main matter. Under normal circumstances, some aide in the mayor's office shouldn't be micromanaging the schools, except that the mayor picked everyone and 3B was commencing a criminal enterprise.

  • In reply to jack:

    See last paragraph of previous comment. Criminal enterprise indeed.

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