CPS’ Gifts to Charities under Scrutiny
(Chicago Tribune) — In an era marked by spending cuts, layoffs and budget anxiety for Chicago Public Schools, district records show that former school board Presidents Michael Scott and his protege Rufus Williams gave freely from private taxpayer-funded accounts to dozens of handpicked charities and nonprofits, many with no apparent benefit to CPS. Scott and Williams combined gave more than $200,000 of public money for seats at lavish fundraising dinners, parties and banquets, according to an inspector general’s report and public records. Scott spent at least $220,000 on charities he ran or where he or his wife served on the board of directors. And Scott gave $77,500 to a West Side church whose pastor partnered with him in a controversial land deal tied to the city’s 2016 Olympic bid.