OpenCDA

November 6, 2015

Fraudulent Steering

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 8:50 am

barbara-byrd-bennett copy“Fraudulent steering” has nothing to do with automobile recalls.

It has everything to do with a dishonest Chicago Public Schools (CPS) official, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who was the putative decision-maker in deciding which two education consulting companies would get a $23 million no-bid contract to provide consulting services to CPS.

One of Babs’ criteria for fraudulently steering the contract to the companies was evidently how much they would be willing to kick back to her in return.   The kickback netted her a cool $2.3 million.

And now the FBI is looking closely at what Babs did as the Chief Accountability Officer in the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) before she went CPS.  The allegation filed in federal court is that she fraudulently steered a DPS textbook contract worth $40 million to a publishing house, Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt, where she had formerly worked.

For an interesting take on Babs’ bribery, see the article headlined Blaming Byrd-Bennett won’t end CPS corruption in The Depaulia, the student newspaper of DePaul University.

Contracts do get steered to preferred vendors and suppliers.  A red flag the size of a large empty hole in the ground  should start waving when a contract is worth a lot of money and is awarded to a sole-source without honest competitive bidding.   It’s a form of bid-rigging.

Fortunately, it only happens in Chicago or Detroit or Atlanta or …  But it could never happen in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

3 Comments

  1. Never in Cda where the mantra is (something like, “Hear no evil, see no evil) “See corruption–afraid to speak up for fear of retaliation and/or public ridicule by the powerful and the press.”

    Comment by Tributary — November 6, 2015 @ 6:12 pm

  2. Tributary,

    It is axiomatic that crooks go where the money is and where the internal controls to protect it aren’t. That includes school districts, churches, law enforcement agencies, and local government.

    Comment by Bill — November 6, 2015 @ 7:34 pm

  3. Kootenai County, CDA City, Spirit Lake, Sandpoint – What about the other government agencies.

    Comment by Sharon Culbreth — November 9, 2015 @ 12:03 pm

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