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U.S./World News

Ex-head of Chicago Public Schools expected to plead guilty
October 13, 2015 05:36 GMT

By MICHAEL TARM Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) -- The former head of Chicago Public Schools is expected to plead guilty in what prosecutors say was a scheme to steer more than $23 million in no-bid contracts to education firms for $2.3 million in bribes and kickbacks.

Tuesday's arraignment will be Barbara Byrd-Bennett's first court appearance since her Oct. 8 indictment. She was never arrested. Her attorney said she will plead guilty in a plea deal.

Prosecutors are likely to reveal their recommended sentence to the judge, who would sentence the 66-year-old later.

Byrd-Bennett faces 20 mail and wire fraud counts. Each carries a maximum 20-year prison term. Prosecutors usually dismiss some counts and recommend leniency if a defendant pleads guilty.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel hired Byrd-Bennett to lead the nation's third-largest school district in 2012. She resigned earlier this year.

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