Former DPS official “fraudulently” steered $40M contract

BarbaraBennett(Lead)In the midst of the “New Plan For Detroit Schools” plan proposed by Governor Snyder and the recent protest of Detroit Teachers against the plan, the Detroit Public Schools district does not need one more layer of scrutiny.

But with the recent guilty plea by Barbara Byrd Bennet, CEO of Chicago Public Schools and the FBI investigation into her tenure in Detroit as a DPS official, that’s exactly what is happening.

According to the Detroit News:

In an affidavit for a search warrant request filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit in March 2013, special agent Joseph Jensen said “there is probable cause to believe” Barbara Byrd-Bennett violated federal theft, fraud and conspiracy laws, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Byrd-Bennett, who was chief accountability officer for DPS from 2009 to 2011, served as chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools from 2012 until June 2015, when she resigned during an investigation of alleged bid-rigging in that district.

SEE RELATED: Barbara Byrd-Bennett: Fallen Angel or Common Criminal?

Byrd-Bennett pleaded guilty Oct. 13 to steering $23 million in CPS contracts for The SUPES Academy and Synesi Associates. During Byrd-Bennett’s Detroit tenure, the DPS district awarded contracts worth about $3.4 million to Synesi Associates.


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