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Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison on Friday for plotting to collect kickback returns from no-bid city contracts that were worth millions, reports the Chicago Tribune.

From the Chicago Tribune:

U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang sentenced Byrd-Bennett to 4 1/2 years in prison for scheming to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks in return for steering lucrative contracts to SUPES Academy, an education consulting firm where she had formerly worked.

In handing down the sentence, Chang said he needed to send a message to other public officials and corrupt vendors that they face significant time behind bars if they’re caught defrauding the public for their own financial gain. It’s a message that so far has not gotten through, the judge said.

In October 2015, as part of a plea deal, Byrd-Bennett pled guilty to wire fraud and admitted that she was involved in steering over $23 million in contracts to an educational firm where she worked, reports the outlet.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune


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