CHICAGO (AP) — The former head of Chicago Public Schools has apologized to students, their families and her former colleagues for her role in a kickback scheme.

Barbara Byrd-Bennett’s voice appeared to break as she spoke outside the federal courthouse in Chicago on Tuesday, shortly after pleading guilty to fraud.

Byrd-Bennett says she’s “terribly sorry,” and that children, their parents and educators “deserved much more… than I gave them.” Neither she nor her attorney took questions.

Prosecutors say she agreed to steer $23 million in no-bid contracts to education firms in exchange for $2.3 million in bribes and kickbacks.

The 66-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of fraud earlier Tuesday. The charge carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, but prosecutors said they’d seek 7 ½ years in exchange for her guilty plea and cooperation.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>