Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lipstick on a pig. The UNO makeover is complete

New board chair, Cabrera (right) says Rangel (left) will stay on as UNO boss, saying there is “no one more suitable to be CEO.”   John H. White~Sun-Times
“I am here today to apologize. "I have failed." -- Juan Rangel
" Oh that's funny. Oh please stop Juan. Oh, my side hurts from laughing..."  -- Mike Klonsky

In one of the largest and most outlandish school/political swindles of our time, the clout-heavy charter hustlers at UNO have made a few cosmetic changes in order to keep millions in taxpayer dollars flowing into their coffers. Gov. Quinn, Speaker Madigan and Mayor Emanuel are all playing along with the charade.

With investigators snooping around, Quinn had suspended all remaining payments from a $98 million school construction grant after the Chicago Sun-Times reported that $8.5 million of the state funding went to companies owned by two brothers of Miguel d’Escoto, a top UNO executive who resigned his $200,000-a-year post in the wake of the stories.

UNO political boss Juan Rangel, says he is stepping down from the boards that oversee UNO and its charter-school network, which is the biggest in Illinois. But amazingly, he will STAY ON AS CEO.

The Sun-Times reports that UNO's made-over board will be headed by Martin Cabrera Jr., head of a financial services firm that served as underwriter for a $37.5 million UNO bond issue in 2011.
Cabrera is founder and chief executive officer of Cabrera Capital Markets, one of Chicago’s leading Hispanic investment banks and a frequent recipient of pinstripe patronage from city bond issues.
Cabrera said Rangel will stay on in UNO’s top job, saying there is “no one more suitable to be CEO.”
Rangel has also been forced to step down from the board of the Public Building Commission of Chicago, which oversees construction of public schools, police and fire stations and other public buildings. Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Rangel to the PBC board soon after being elected mayor in 2011. Rangel served as co-chairman of his mayoral election campaign.

To turn the money spigot back on, UNO is turning to "a little-known not-for-profit group", called IFF, which “will oversee the completion of the construction of the new UNO Soccer Academy Charter High School” and “will have the sole discretion to approve any and all contractors, subcontractors or material providers performing work relating to the project.”

Just reading the S-T article made me feel so dirty, I had to wash my hands. Yuck!


  1. I was very insulted by Joe Neri's quote.

    Really good options for latino kids?...Not great options. And why didn't he say "really good options for kids (in general)? When I read this, in my head it sounded like Mr. Neri thinks Latino students deserve a different (substandard) education than other type of children deserve.

  2. They will do everything they can to save him, as he is key to getting the Governor, Speaker of the House and the Mayor elected. While I don't credit him for getting the President elected, he does have access to the White House, and has delivered a considerable number of votes for him. If banks are too big to fail, he's too effective to jail.


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