BRATENAHL, OH – The former head of the Chicago school system entered a guilty plea in a kickback scheme. Prosecutors say it involved $23 million in no-bid contracts that went to education firms, in exchange for $2.3 million in bribes and kickbacks. Barbara Byrd-Bennett entered the plea today in federal court. The former Chicago Public Schools CEO was indicted last week. She had faced 20 fraud counts, but under a plea agreement she pleaded guilty to just one.
Prosecutors have said they will seek a seven-and-a-half year sentence in exchange for her cooperation and the guilty plea. She resigned from her position in Chicago earlier this year.
Byrd-Bennett was also head of the Cleveland Public Schools and one remnant of her time here is her name on a small, little known campus in Bratenahl. But now that she is a convicted felon, Fox 8 wanted to find out if her name will stay on that building.