*”I am terribly sorry, and I apologize to them. They deserve much more, much more than I gave to them,” Barbara Byrd-Bennet stopped long enough to say to the reporters gathered outside the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse in Chicago – where she had just pleaded guilty to one-count of wire fraud.
And while the crime would’ve gotten her something like 20 years in prison, her plea-deal promises it will resemble something more like 7-1/2.
The 66-year-old ex-Chicago schools chief was in court on Tuesday to plea for her role in steering millions of dollars from no-bid contracts to the educational consulting firm she previously worked with, SUPES Academy.
The scheme promised her lucrative kickbacks and perks such as reimbursements for events, sports tickets, and cash money.
Byrd-Bennett had little chance of escaping such an embarrassment, as she and her cohorts exchanged no-holds-barred emails; such as one she allegedly sent asking for cash because “She has tuition to pay and casinos to visit.” These were read aloud in court.
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