In 2013, Rahm’s CPS board appointee, Penny Prtizker (Yes, JB’s sister) left the board for a job as Commerce Secretary for President Obama.
She was replaced by Rahm with a hustler named Deborah Quazzo.
This is what happens with a mayoral controlled board and why we need an elected one.
Rahm’s board has been a revolving door of the corrupt and the connected and is a reason for not only a representative elected school board but another reason for a new mayor.
Quazzo was so bad, in 2013 I created a verb based on Rahm picking her to be on the board.
“Once again, we have been Quazzoed by the Mayor,” I wrote at the time.
I quoted from a story that appeared in the Sun-Times when she was picked by the Mayor to be on the board.
In all, five companies in which Quazzo has an ownership stake have been paid more than $3.8 million by CPS for ACT prep or online help with reading, writing and math. One of them stands to collect an additional $1.6 million this year from a district contract.
This morning in a story by Lauren FitzPatrick, again in the Sun-Times, it is being reported that Quazzo was just short of a criminal indictment for her corruption involving CPS.
Disgraced former Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, now in prison for a kickback scheme involving millions of dollars in school contracts, accepted lavish meals at some of the city’s priciest restaurants from a CPS vendor whose investors included Deborah Quazzo, who at the time was a Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointee to the Chicago Board of Education.
That’s according to a new report from CPS Inspector General Nicholas Schuler, whose investigation led the FBI to Byrd-Bennett.
Shortly before the FBI came knocking on Byrd-Bennett’s door, the then-CPS CEO came to Quazzo’s defense, telling her at a board meeting, “My experience with you is as a woman of impeccable integrity, and I really regret that you unfortunately have to go through this kind of rigmarole.”
While Byrd-Bennett was emailing her former employers at SUPES about the money they would have set aside for her and her grandchildren once she succeeded in landing them millions in no-bid deals, she was also enjoying Chicago’s steakhouse scene, with Think Through Math paying the tab.
A top official for the online math-tutoring company paid for 23 dinners costing $8,108 involving CPS staffers at Gibson’s, Morton’s, Chicago Cut and III Forks, among other dining spots, Schuler found. He said Byrd-Bennett participated in meals worth at least $6,100 through March 2015, weeks before she resigned.
Unlike the SUPES deals, the tutoring work was put out for competitive bids.
Think Through Math was a Quazzo company.
SUPES, you may recall, is the contract that sent CEO Barbara Bryd-Bennet to jail and led to the indictment of Gary Solomon and a cohort.