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Ex-head Of Chicago Schools Pleads Guilty In Kickbacks Scheme

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 14/10/2015 Rebecca Klein

CHICAGO (AP) -- The former head of the nation's 3rd largest school district has pleaded guilty to a fraud charge in an alleged scheme to steer $23 million in no-bid contracts to education firms for $2.3 million in bribes and kickbacks.

Barbara Byrd-Bennett entered her guilty plea Tuesday in federal court.

The 66-year-old faced 20 fraud counts, each with a maximum 20-year prison term. But under the plea agreement, she pleaded guilty to one fraud count. All others will be dismissed.

Federal prosecutors are seeking a sentence of 7 1/2 years in prison for the former Chicago Public Schools CEO. U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang will sentence her at a later date.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel hired Byrd-Bennett as CEO in 2012. She resigned earlier this year. Two education company executives were also indicted.

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