CHICAGO – The owner of two education-services companies has pleaded guilty to offering bribes and kickbacks to the former head of Chicago Public Schools.
Federal prosecutors on Tuesday said Gary Solomon entered into a plea agreement admitting he offered former school district CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett bribes and kickbacks in exchange for her steering $23 million in contracts to his companies. Byrd-Bennett previously worked for the companies. Prosecutors say the 48-year-old from Wilmette also provided Byrd-Bennett with other perks, including meals and sports tickets.
Byrd-Bennett pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud. Solomon also pleaded guilty to the same charge. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced March 24.
Prosecutors say Solomon’s companies, SUPES Academy and Synesi Associates, also pleaded guilty to wire fraud and face millions in fines.