Former CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett to plead guilty to corruption charges

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CHICAGO — The former CEO of Chicago Public Schools will plead guilty corruption charges following a federal investigation into a $20 million no-bid contract.

Barbara Byrd-Bennett was indicted Thursday, nearly four months after she resigned amid an investigation into the contract between the district and SUPES Academy, a training academy where she once worked as a consultant

An attorney for Byrd-Bennett confirms that his client will plead guilty to charges.

Chicago-based lawyer Michael Scudder released a statement Thursday saying Byrd-Bennett accepts "full responsibility for her conduct." The statement says she plans to plead guilty to charges in the indictment.

Scudder also says Byrd-Bennett will continue to cooperate with the government, including testifying if called upon to do so.
Byrd-Bennett stepped down as the city's top school official earlier this year.
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis says the indictment on corruption charges involving Chicago Public Schools' former CEO marks a "sad day" for the district's leadership.

In a statement released Thursday, Lewis says the union wishes Byrd-Bennett "well in her legal battles." Lewis says the union is now focused on securing a new contract.

The union and school district are locked in a tense contract negotiation. During the last round of negotiations, teachers in Chicago went on strike for the first time in 25 years.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel chose Byrd-Bennett, a longtime educator, to lead the district in 2012.

CPS is the nation's third largest school district with about 400,000 students.

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