The Latest: Ex-Chicago Public School CEO apologizes

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Posted: Oct 13, 2015 1:26 PM
The Latest: Ex-Chicago Public School CEO apologizes

CHICAGO (AP) — The latest in the criminal case against former Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

The former head of Chicago Public Schools has apologized to students, their families and her former colleagues for her role in a kickback scheme.

Barbara Byrd-Bennett's voice appeared to break as she spoke outside the federal courthouse in Chicago on Tuesday, shortly after pleading guilty to fraud.

Byrd-Bennett says she's "terribly sorry," and that children, their parents and educators "deserved much more... than I gave them." Neither she nor her attorney took questions.

Prosecutors say she agreed to steer $23 million in no-bid contracts to education firms in exchange for $2.3 million in bribes and kickbacks.

The 66-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of fraud earlier Tuesday. The charge carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, but prosecutors said they'd seek 7 ½ years in exchange for her guilty plea and cooperation.

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11:40 a.m.

The former head of the nation's 3rd largest school district has pleaded guilty to a fraud charge in an alleged scheme to steer $23 million in no-bid contracts to education firms for $2.3 million in bribes and kickbacks.

Barbara Byrd-Bennett entered her guilty plea Tuesday in federal court.

The 66-year-old faced 20 fraud counts, each with a maximum 20-year prison term. But under the plea agreement, she pleaded guilty to one fraud count. All others will be dismissed.

Federal prosecutors are seeking a sentence of 7 1/2 years in prison for the former Chicago Public Schools CEO. U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang will sentence her at a later date.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel hired Byrd-Bennett as CEO in 2012. She resigned earlier this year. Two education company executives were also indicted.

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10:40 a.m.

The former head of the nation's 3rd largest school district has pleaded guilty to charges in an alleged scheme to steer $23 million in no-bid contracts to education firms for $2.3 million in bribes and kickbacks.

Barbara Byrd-Bennett entered her guilty plea Tuesday in federal court.

Her attorney said just hours after the former Chicago Public Schools CEO was indicted on Oct. 8 that she would plead guilty as part of a deal with prosecutors. She was never arrested.

The 66-year-old faced 20 fraud counts, each with a maximum 20-year prison term. But under the plea agreement, she pleaded guilty to one fraud count. All others will be dismissed.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel hired Byrd-Bennett as CEO in 2012. She resigned earlier this year.

Two education company executives were also indicted.