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Prosecutors seek 7 years for former CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett

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CHICAGO — Federal prosecutors are recommending a 7 ½-year prison sentence for a former Chicago Public Schools CEO who pleaded guilty in a kickback scheme.

In a court filing Friday prosecutors say Barbara Byrd-Bennett knew that the district was financially troubled when she arrived in 2012 and still worked to “enrich herself and her co-schemers at the expense” of students, teachers and Chicago residents.

Byrd-Bennett pleaded guilty in 2015 to federal wire fraud. She’s accused of helping steer more than $20 million worth of no-bid contracts to education companies in exchange for bribes and kickbacks.

Defense attorneys sought a prison sentence of 3 ½ years and acknowledged the “extraordinary breach of trust.”

She’s expected to be sentenced later this month.

Two others have pleaded guilty in the scheme.