Interim CPS CEO Jesse Ruiz.
– By John Kugler from SubstanceNews.
Did the Chicago Board of Education award Barbara Byrd Bennett an additional year in office (at a quarter million dollars annual salary, plus “performance” bonuses and other perks) just before the recent revelation that federal agents had raided her homes both in Chicago and in Ohio and carried off papers and computer materials? Possibly, since that is the latest news that for some reason the seven members of the Chicago Board of Education forgot to make public. Until it was dragged out of them by a couple of reporters.
During the unprecedented press conference following the April 22, 2015 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, Board Vice President Jesse Ruiz (above) tried to continue to evade most questions about his votes over the past four years. Those included voting in favor of the now infamous SUPES principal training contract, the monthly vote to keep all Executive Session minutes of the Board secret, and his routine support for the blackout on most news by the CPS Office of Communications since his vote to appoint Rad Blagoevich’s former staff aide Becky Carroll as the Board’s $165,000-per-year “Chief Communications Officer” in June 2011. Ruiz is now doubling as the CPS “Interim Chief Executive Officer” while retaining his title of Board Vice President.
Apparently, the Board members and the mayor who appointed them believe that Ruiz’s skillful smile and evasive ways will keep most of the burgeoning CPS scandal from breaking into the public record after the Board’s four eyars of hiding almost all of its expensive actions from the public.
The Board also went to a great extent to cover up the original contracts that it gave Byrd Bennett. Anyone checking on line will not be able to find either of them at the Board’s website (www.cps.edu). Nor has the Board revealed how much the public has paid to fly Byrd Bennett back and forth, on most weekends, from Chicago to her home in Ohio (often, sources have told Substance, with friends).
At least here readers can peruse the full contract that the Board members agreed to back when they hired her full time, after having paid her more than $150,000 for fewer than seven months’ work as a consultant back in 2012.
In reading the full contract Chicago Public Schools signed with CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett now under federal investigation for improprieties with a no bid $20 Million dollar contract with SUPES Training Academy it seems like the school district would be able to get of the bad deal they now have with this person. It should be noted the Byrd Bennett has worked In Washing DC under now disgraced Michelle Rhee and in the Bankrupt Detroit. In the coming days Substance news will release documents and reports on other past issues Byrd Bennett has had working in other school districts.