SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Under the bus he goes

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013

* As I told you the other day, the heat is really on UNO right now. Their $35 million construction grant was deleted from the mini capital bill approved by the General Assembly this month because of all the bad publicity. After dismissing questions about conflicts of interest as no big deal, the politically connected group is now apparently trying to get this matter behind them so they can eventually get that state cash

The No. 2 executive of the United Neighborhood Organization quit Tuesday, eight days after the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the politically influential charter school operator paid state grant money to companies owned by two of his brothers.

Miguel d’Escoto, who was UNO’s senior vice president of operations, resigned “by mutual agreement” in a letter submitted Tuesday evening, said the group’s CEO, Juan Rangel. […]

Rangel said UNO’s contracting process “followed the law.”

“However, we want to avoid even the appearance of conflicts of interest,” said Rangel, who was a co-chairman of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2011 campaign.

D’Escoto was paid $200,000 a year by UNO and had worked for it for six years, public records show. He previously was a city transportation commissioner in the administration of former Mayor Richard M. Daley.

D’Escoto’s brothers were paid with state funds under a $98 million grant UNO got to build new schools. The Sun-Times reported Feb. 4 that UNO’s contractors under the grant included d’Escoto Inc. — owned by former UNO board member Federico “Fred” d’Escoto — and Reflection Window Co., owned by Rodrigo d’Escoto.

Rangel said Sunday UNO would stop doing business with d’Escoto Inc. until after the organization completes an internal review of its contracting process.

As a side note, a South Side school construction project is not up and running yet because it had to follow the state’s bidding laws. UNO didn’t have to do that, and some African-American legislators aren’t too pleased.

* And speaking of Chicago school-related conflicts of interest

The day before Chicago Public Schools is set to release the list of schools in danger of closing, a group of parents asked the CPS Inspector General of Chicago Public Schools to investigate the district’s closing process.

Parents 4 Teachers, which has strong ties to the Chicago Teachers Union, filed a complaint alleging conflict of interest, saying the district is motivated to close schools not by a budget deficit but by a desire to expand charter schools.

The letter dated Feb. 12 cited ties between the independent commission appointed by CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett to research school closings, and the Civil Consulting Alliance, which has ties to charter-school boosters. It also pointed to a $478,000 grant to CPS from the charter-supporting Walton Family Foundation to pay for breakout sessions at school closing hearings.

“They share the same offices,” Erica Clark of Parents 4 Teachers said of the commission. “They are advised by organizations that are in business to promote charters.

“These are clear conflicts of interest that have to stop,” she said.

Clark and her group also allege that CPS has misled the public into believing that school closings will help bridge a deep budget gap.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


12 Comments
  1. - OldSmoky2 - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 9:16 am:

    The Sun-Times story is interesting. In fact, a quick search reveals that the Walton Family Foundation gave $2.8 million to aid charter schools in Chicago in 2012, including $500,000 to, yep, UNO. Given that their cozy relationship with CPS officials should raise eyebrows, and more.


  2. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 9:38 am:

    I’m sure they were the best qualified and lowest bidders.

    Sure they were.


  3. - Fair Share - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 9:47 am:

    So who got the construction contracts for work on the Gates Foundation charters? And the other northshore liberal “hobby educators”? UNO is an easy target but I suspect the network of family and friends is not limited to them.


  4. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 9:57 am:

    There are good charter schools, there are bad charter schools.

    But what’s clear is that in Chicago, charter schools are another hustle, bankrolling hedgies and political organizations on the public dime.

    Mayor Emanuel, feel free to weigh in anytime now. Perhaps Rauner can spot you the cash for some TV time.


  5. - MrJM - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 10:10 am:

    What’s clear is that in Chicago, charter schools are another hustle, bankrolling hedgies and political organizations on the public dime.

    What he said.

    – MrJM


  6. - langhorne - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 11:45 am:

    “chicago aint ready for reform.”


  7. - ChicagoDem - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 12:11 pm:

    Regardless of what UNO does in terms of re-shuffling personnel, the US Attorney’s office and the FBI might begin to look at UNO more closely. And if the Feds smell blood they’ll dig deeper and deeper until they get “their man.”


  8. - Anonimo - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 12:48 pm:

    I’m REALLY FED up with the corruption in this city and this state, and I hope a new generation of (TRUE) reformers crops up soon. This city and this state stink! Milking the public coffers to build patronage armies and fortunes for the connected. There’s no doubt in my mind that Emanuel’s school closings are completely motivated by his desire to open up more charters and reap the political and monetary benefits that come from opening up these charters. And he says this is for the children? News flash - charters are outperformed by CPS throughout the city! I’ll support charter schools when they shut down New Trier High School and replace it with an UNO school.


  9. - Kwark - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 1:23 pm:

    Anyone out there know if you can borrow the UNO municipal bonds? That would allow you to short UNO.


  10. - Andrew - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 1:39 pm:

    Crain’s had a story on this a while back http://bit.ly/VV0fbk Looks like Madigan’s fingerprints all over this one. Must be good to be friends with the King.


  11. - downhereforyears - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 1:46 pm:

    And the Beat goes on.


  12. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Feb 13, 13 @ 3:12 pm:

    200k is good work if you can get it-far better than I was ever able to find


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Rate "K Text"
* Today's quotable
* Frerichs lashes out at outside intervention in campaign
* McKeon upset by "hatchet job"
* Run away! Run away!
* *** UPDATED - Quinn response *** Rauner complains that Quinn "stole" his accomplishment
* Two colleagues, two different takes on a reporter's resignation
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Fundraising updates
* Rauner with 2-1 money lead over Quinn
* Waukegan school strike finally ends
* *** UPDATED x2 Siedle responds - Rauner response *** Today's must-read
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition: Crosstabs, cable TV buys, mail, etc.
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Good morning!
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Dot Dot game lands on Android
        * CAT B15Q, S50 now available from T-Mobile and AT&T
        * Flipboard 3.0 is both more and less personal than before
        * Don’t be surprised to see video ads in your Instagram feed starting today
        * AMPLIFi Remote 2.0 now available on Android devices
        * Apple No Longer Rejecting Calculator Widgets From The App Store
        * Using an Acer smartphone in the US

        * London Police Wants Clairvoyant Knowledge Of Crime Before It Happens
        * Capsules Offer Direct Release Of Chemo To Brains
        * The One Ring Firering
        * This Calculator Shows How Long It Will Take to Save a Million Dollars
        * Pangu iOS 8.1 Jailbreak With Cydia May Be Released Tomorrow
        * Facebook API updates: developers can hide & unhide comments on a page post via Graph API
        * Roku is coming to Germany, with some help from Sky

        * The offseason begins with a new Chicago manager and old arguments
        * World Series Game 7: Notes and discussion
        * Guillen, White Sox look back on '05 championship
        * White Sox offseason plan roundup: Designated hitter
        * Fall Stars Game filled to brim with talent
        * World Series Game 6: Notes and discussion
        * Thomas proud with Big Hurt Brewhouse set to open


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Governor Pat Quinn Statement on Tentative Agree.....
        * Inmate freed in landmark Illinois case..
        * Lengthy Teachers' Strike in Illinois Nears End..
        * Update: Waukegan teachers, school board reach t.....
        * West Homboldt Place allows The Children’s Place.....
        * Cronus Fertilizers to build CSX-served plant in.....
        * Illinois National Guard breaks ground in Kankakee..
        * Governor Quinn Announces Cronus Has Chosen Illi.....
        * Governor Quinn Joins UI LABS to Break Ground on.....
        * Libertarian candidate Grimm could impact govern.....


        * Inmate freed in landmark Illinois case
        * Ex-death row inmate can't be retried in killings
        * Rauner says women will decide governor's race
        * First lady to campaign in Moline for Quinn, Durbin
        * Lawyer: Inmate ordered freed deserves restitution
        * Investigator: Simon confessed multiple times
        * Dedication set at memorial of 1994 plane crash
        * Illinois' US Senate candidates spar in last debate
        * Candidates spar in final debate US Senate debate
        * Chicago mayoral candidate says he can raise $3M

        * Rauner says women will decide governor's race
        * Judge denies ex-representative new bribery trial
        * Libertarian candidate for governor gets union cash
        * Illinois Supreme Court justice faces opposition
        * Quinn pledges $1.3M for 3-state intermodal port
        * Vallas: Rauner ‘doesn’t get it’ on minimum wage
        * Acquiring first seeds a dilemma for medical marijuana growers
        * Election 2014: Background on the big races, endorsements, videos
        * Medical pot dilemma: Where to get the first seeds?
        * Vallas: Rauner “doesn’t get it” on minimum wage

        * Ex-owners of failed Premier Bank charged with defrauding First Midwest
        * Chicago adds two electric buses with federal grant
        * Apple CEO: 'I'm proud to be gay'
        * Is this the cheapest price yet for college textbooks?
        * 10 Things to Do


        * Sad day  when  Catholic  schools  close
        * Chicago bead merchant Ronnie Klein, whose Loop business drew stars, dead at 65
        * Chicago bead merchant Ronnie Klein, whose Loop business drew stars, dead at 65
        * Durbin, Oberweis square off for final time
        * Refund those unfair yellow-light tickets
        * Let’s not oversell CTA terrorist screenings
        * Let’s not oveRsell CTA terrorist screenings
        * Tourism biz should be more transparent
        * Emanuel: ‘World is different now,’ defends CTA random bag checks
        * Schneider, Dold fighting for the Jewish vote in 10th District: Sweet


        * Michelle Obama to campaign for Democrats Saturday in western Illinois
        * Boy's missing bionic arm, thought to have been stolen, found
        * Cook County prosecutors free inmate in Anthony Porter case
        * Authorities investigate bomb threat at federal building
        * Lake County Jail guards indicted in inmate's death
        * Man charged in downtown convenience store robberies
        * Police shoot man in Back of the Yards
        * Waukegan school district, teachers announce tentative contract
        * Trauma center protesters target U. of C. capital campaign


        * As Infrastructure Crumbles, Trillions Of Gallons Of Water Lost
        * Authorities: Springfield Woman's BAC Three Times The Legal Limit
        * 2014 Election Coverage: Citizens, here's your homework!
        * Aldermen skip chance to ask about city’s handling of police commander
        * Immigrant Rights Groups: Demand Oustrips Slots For Driver's Licenses
        * U-S Senate Candidates Differ On Ebola Response And More
        * Listen to State Week - October 24, 2014
        * A Look At Amazon's Move To Illinois
        * Bedrock 66: Charlie Parr Plays Springfield Friday
        * What's New With The Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony? Quite A Lot


        * Rauner says women will decide governor's race
        * Eugene Robinson: Ben Bradlee and the whole story
        * George Will: In Georgia, a capitalist struggles
        * Richard Dye and Richard Winkel Jr: Illinois’ fiscal situation is worse than you know or candidates will admit
        * Steve Herr: Benedictine in the administrative age
        * Quote of the Day: Thursday, Oct. 30
        * On Lincoln’s Side: A Just Pardon
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Bell accuses Scherer of ‘illegally’ taking tax break while he got same exemption
        * Judge denies ex-representative new bribery trial
        * Bill Edley: Will history repeat itself in the 17th?


        * Politics Notebook: New Jersey Gov. Christie to stump for Rauner in metro-east
        * Trick or treating tips can make Halloween fun and healthier
        * Water line break closes part of Stadium Drive in Champaign
        * Illini headed to Springfield
        * Trick or treat times in the metro-east
        * Audit: Muscatine County town overbilled electric customers
        * One injured in tractor-train accident in Calamus
        * Thursday Oct. 30 government meetings
        * Two injured in Saline County crash
        * A chance of isolated showers this afternoon


        * 10 ideas -- both frightening and family-friendly -- for Halloween
        * Scouting this weekend's DuPage County playoff football games
        * Household savings near two-year high seen boosting spending
        * Ma's Hollywood dreams make Youku target for Alibaba
        * Yahoo names Amazon's Utzschneider as head of sales in Americas

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Governor Quinn Joins UI LABS to Break Grou......
        * Governor Quinn Joins UI LABS to Break Grou......
        * Amazon to open facilities in Illinois, hir......
        * Amazon to open facilities in Illinois, hir......
        * Amazon to open facilities in Illinois, hir......

        * Senator Sharing Career Story At Triton...

        * Fantasyland: Quinn uses actor Martin Sheen as "Former Acting President"
        * AFP Illinois fights 40 tax-raising referendum on Nov. 4th ballots
        * Chicago Education Activists Warn Of More 'Civil Disobedience' Over Dyett High School
        * Waukegan Teachers Reach Deal With Board Of Ed
        * Oberweis says Durbin ready to spring Obamacare premium hike after election
        * Facebook Conservatives lose board members over Rauner recommendation
        * Durbin, Bustos Host Discussion On Economic Security For Women
        * Report: Higher Minimum Wage Would Help One-in-Five Illinois Kids
        * The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #23: It's All Cutler's Fault
        * Cook County Commissioner Garcia to challenge Emanuel in Chicago mayoral race


        * Editorial: Rauner best choice as governor to begin to reverse Illinois’ fortunes
        * Quinn to celebrate Rauner’s UI Labs accomplishment
        * Another Democrat Runs Away From Pat Quinn
        * Governor Pat Quinn Statement on Tentative Agreement to End Waukegan Teacher Strike, Return Students to Classrooms - State Education Chief Worked Overnight to Reach Common Ground, Students Heading Back to School on Monday
        * Governor Quinn Joins UI LABS to Break Ground on New Digital Manufacturing Hub - Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute Set to Open in 2015, Create Jobs




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller