Dear Member of the
International Olympic Committee:
|One of the mail points in our case against Chicago hosting the 2016 Olympics is that the city is terribly corrupt. Decisions about city policies and city projects are made not to ensure the highest quality but to ensure the highest profits and favors for the Mayor's friends and colleagues.It seems that everything in this city is for sale or subject to influence peddling. Now we learn that our public schools are being investigated by federal law enforcement officials for corruption. This is a new scandal and is making news daily here. Michael Scott, the President of the Chicago Board of Education has been subpoenaed to appear before a federal grant jury. Mr. Scott is the chairman of the outreach committee for
Chicago 2016. August 5, 2009
BY FRAN SPELMAN City Hall Reporter
Board of Education President Michael Scott disclosed Tuesday that he
has been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury
investigating how students are chosen for admission to some of the
city's most elite public schools.
Scott said he was surprised
by the subpoena and flatly denied that he has ever flexed his political
muscle -- during two stints as board president -- to clout any student
into a "selective enrollment" school.
"I followed all the procedures," Scott said.
Asked whether he has ever made a call on behalf of someone else, Scott said, "Nope. Never."
Scott said the Board of Education launched its internal
investigation of the admissions process before the federal grand jury
issued separate subpoenas for school records and Scott's testimony.
Asked whether he had ever heard of a call being placed to get a
student clouted in, he said, "That's a different question. You asked me
if I made a call. No comment. It's an ongoing investigation."
Pressed on why the federal government would target him for grand
jury testimony, Scott said, "I don't know. I keep telling you. I have
no idea. But, I look forward to it. I can tell you that. "I'm telling you there's a process in place that I have absolute
confidence in and I look forward to answering any questions about it. .
. . People should have confidence in the system," he said.
Scott made his comments after joining Mayor Daley at Robeson High
School, 6935 S. Normal, to launch the annual back-to-school campaign.
The Chicago Sun-Times began reporting on problems in admissions to
elite CPS schools 18 months ago, disclosing that parents tried to clout
their kids into one lottery magnet school, some with the help of a
school clerk. The parents falsely claimed they had a child already
enrolled in the elementary school.
And in February, the Sun-Times reported that the first year of
allowing the principals of CPS' selective-enrollment college prep
schools to handpick five percent of their students was a rocky one.
During the news conference, Schools CEO Ron Huberman refused to be
pinned down on the timeline of the internal and federal investigations.
He would only say that the internal inquiry dates back "several months."
"CPS detected an anomaly as part of the normal course of business at
a particular school. . . . We then decided to launch an investigation.
. . . We also wanted to bring in an independent auditing firm [to
review] the process," Huberman said.
Daley said the investigation demonstrates the need for more magnet schools across the city.
"More and more people want to stay in Chicago. More and more people want to get into better schools," the mayor said.
One key target of the Board of Education's internal probe is the
sweeping power that allows principals to hand-pick five percent of all
students at nine college prep high schools that admit students based on
tests and grades and at the dozens of magnet schools that admit by
The Sun-Times reported in the February that 16 percent of the 129
students chosen by principals at seven of the prep schools did not pass
initial law department scrutiny. Some principals picked kids who did
not take the required admissions test or had not even filled out an
The federal and CPS investigations come against the backdrop of the clout admissions scandal at the University of Illinois.
Scott served as school board president from 2001 to 2006, only to
return in February after his longtime friend Rufus Williams was forced
out by City Hall.
Scott is a trusted Daley lieutenant with a 30-year history with the
mayor. He has served as cable administrator, a park board president,
RTA and McPier board member and chairman of the outreach committee for