With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Feds back in Chicago. Rahm, Vitale suddenly gag up

Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.[A casino worker gives Renault a wad of money.]Casino Worker: Your winnings, sir. -- Casablanca
Catalyst deserves award for breaking Supes/BBB story back in July, 2013. We bloggers have been writing about this for two years. But feds didn't announce their move until a week after the election. Why not? And where have you been all this time, Sun-Times, Trib, Crain's, Chicago Tonight...? 

Back in August of that year, I asked: "Why is media burying the $20 million, no-bid Supes contract story?"
Why the blackout by the Sun-Times on the Supes contract? The Tribune barely mentioned it. It's buried at the end of a school budget story this morning.  Sarah Karp at Catalyst has given reporters everything they need to begin asking the right questions and should win an award for her reporting. -- Klonsky Blog
Rahm, Vitale and the gang deserve acting awards for gagging up and feigning surprise after news of the federal investigation broke. 
“As part of that investigation by the federal authorities, they asked us not to give a lot of information out, even though we don’t have a lot of information, and we’re going to honor that.” -- Rahm Emanuel
"Yesterday the Board of Education was made aware that federal authorities are investigating a matter at CPS and have requested interviews with several employees. We take any allegation of misconduct seriously, and we are fully cooperating with investigators who requested that we not discuss any specifics regarding the ongoing investigation.” -- School Board Pres. David Vitale
Vitale and Rahm?
Yesterday, made aware? Who are you crappin', Captain Renault? CPS signed its initial contract with SUPES for leadership training not long after Byrd-Bennett took office. You both knew that she had worked for the company before joining CPS as a consultant in April 2012.

And we know that you know that we know, you've been meeting about how to stonewall this for weeks, even discussing the possibility of appointing an interim CEO before the story broke. You've sent BBB into hiding even though you are in the middle of contract negotiations with the CTU.

Your own inspector general's office began an investigation into the contract with SUPES Academy and Byrd-Bennett's relationship to the company in 2013. The U.S. attorney's office started its own probe, and a grand jury has been reviewing evidence for at least a year.

Even your usually silent and compliant principals raised holy hell last year, about the deadly $20M SUPES workshops, after they were forced to take time away from their own schools. At one point, they even revolted, ran out Gary Solomon's facilitator, and took over the trainings themselves.

There can be only one explanation. This is only the tip of the iceberg. It goes way beyond BBB who will likely be dumped unceremoniously and soon, like her predecessors Brizard and Huberman, with only her golden parachute to land her softly. If she's indicted, you can bet it won't be on RICO racketeering charges like the teachers down in Atlanta or carry a 20-year-sentence. She may even decide to pull an Amer Ahmad and flee the country. More likely, a deal is already in the works.

But this thing goes even higher up the ladder and the A.G. knows it. After all, this is a system of mayoral control of the schools and a no-bid contract to one of Paul Vallas' Synesi consulting partners would never have been handed out without a nod from Rahm and Vitale.

Also, this goes way beyond Chicago. Solomon, Vallas and Synesi have been running this scam since Vallas left Chicago on his way to Philly, New Orleans, Haiti and points north and south. It should make us take a fresh look at how and why Vallas was made Pat Quinn's running mate for the second highest office in the state?

More, much more, to come on this.

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