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.


* Afternoon updates
* Hospitals back removal of income tax sunsets
* The other strategy
* *** UPDATED 1x *** Quinn onboard; Rauner latches onto term limits proposal
* Because Illinois is a real battleground state
* Quinn dodges Rahm question on "Morning Joe"
* Morning Shorts
* 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

          
        * Vic Gundotra leaving Google, has his “and then” moment
        * Samsung Galaxy Beam 2 makes its debut, pico projector in tow
        * Find the best indie games—in our new collection available now!
        * More leaked shots show new dialer app for Android 4.4.3
        * PlayOn now supports Chromecast
        * Opinion-Sharing Platform Knotch Launches A New Website And Updated App
        * IFTTT makes its long-awaited Android debut

        * Bloom Necklace Transforms Shine into Wearable Jewerly
        * Tapped out: A few reasons why Apple iPad sales have slowed
        * Google Glass is on sale to the public again
        * Genius Bookshelves, GoPro Hero3+, Nespresso Espressos, Tire Discounts
        * Facebook Launches Newswire To Deliver Breaking News
        * Opera Coast Gives Users an App-Like Browsing Experience
        * Turn a Used Tin Can Into a Ribbon Organizer

        * Walks working against the White Sox' plans for the bullpen
        * Beckham off DL, returns to White Sox
        * Gordon Beckham coming back, but without a free pass
        * Semien's slam sparks White Sox comeback win
        * White Sox seek series win behind Quintana
        * Beckham to return to White Sox on Thursday
        * Konerko passes Big Hurt in total bases


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

        Archives
        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


        * 'Black Republicans are like Jewish Nazis' artic.....
        * Gov. Quinn responds to charges of political hir.....
        * Illinois GOP and business community garner supp.....
        * Rauner skips GOP event over pastor's comments..
        * Quinn now backs term limits for statewide elect.....
        * Quinn backs term limits for constitutional offi.....
        * Illinois hospital group favors current tax rate..
        * Rauner latches onto term limits proposal..
        * Dem Gov. of IL seems to think black Republicans.....
        * Gov. backs term limits for constitutional officers..


        * Bronze statue of Roger Ebert unveiled at Ebertfest
        * ISU rehires fired grounds worker
        * Indiana man faces gun charge at NJ airport
        * Skeletal remains found near Quincy shopping center
        * Mother says triple-homicide victim was fearful
        * Chicago doctor among those killed in Afghanistan
        * Rauner wants Quinn to release hiring documents
        * WIU to build $72 million performing arts center
        * Thomson prison jobs come with tough hiring process
        * Caterpillar 1Q profit climbs 5 pct, forecast rises

        * Rauner skips GOP event over pastor's comments
        * Quinn backs term limits for constitutional officers
        * U of I asks state legislators to prevent retirement rush; could affect 200 at UIS
        * Video gaming may get its own exclusion list
        * Quinn grants 43 clemency requests
        * Rauner wants Quinn to release hiring documents
        * Illinois approved for No Child Left Behind waiver
        * Remap group says it is not political
        * Quinn clout hiring faces scrutiny
        * Illinois Medicaid paying for dead clients

        * Bronze statue of Roger Ebert unveiled at Ebertfest
        * After CEO shakeup, Accretive nixes move to Dallas
        * Chicago doctor among those killed in Afghanistan
        * Investors reward boost in net sales at Mead Johnson
        * Polar vortex clips United's wings in 1Q — while rivals stay aloft


        * Robo-calls on pension reform bill raise Rauner-Rahm rift
        * Truck fatally strikes semi driver taking picture of accident
        * Semi fatally strikes pedestrian in Noble Square
        * Police: Pedestrian fatally struck by semi in Noble Square
        * Editorial: How to improve graduation rates
        * Gary killer’s warning: Divorce ‘not going to be pretty’
        * Maine West principal reported early hazing to ex-superintendent: officials
        * DNA solves murder of man missing since 1978, mistakenly feared to be Gacy victim
        * Judge, citing possible innocence, orders release of Hickory Hills woman in shaken baby case
        * Despite pleas, CPS hands three schools to private operator


        * Pediatrician killed in Afghanistan 'was driven by the kids'
        * Quinn now backs term limits for statewide elected officials
        * Quinn now backs term limits for statewide elected officials
        * Dutch man charged in Chicago with selling drugs for bitcoins
        * Metra cancels 4 trains after injured man found near tracks
        * Ex-alderman testifies on white powder in letter
        * Jury starts considering whether Jorge Torrez should die
        * Driver fatally hit by truck while taking photos of accident damage


        * Listen To State Week - April 18, 2014
        * Illinois Finally Gets 'No Child Left Behind' Waiver
        * Earth Friendly Event In Springfield This Weekend
        * Madigan Vs. The Maps
        * Chemical found on U.S. apples banned in Europe over safety concerns
        * Aging Population Biggest Economic and Financial Challenge Ahead
        * Employment Improves, But Illinois Still Lags U.S.
        * Murray Center Advocates Win Appeals Decision
        * Marian Anderson Tribute - 'The Concert That Shook The Establishment'
        * Marian Anderson Tribute - 'The Concert That Shook The Establishment'


        * Rauner skips GOP event over pastor's comments
        * Quinn backs term limits for constitutional officers
        * Rauner wants Quinn to release hiring documents
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Barr borrowed late in sheriff campaign to keep ads flowing
        * Cristal Thomas: Protecting Illinois’ pregnant workers shouldn’t be a heavy lift
        * Remap group says it is not political
        * Quinn clout hiring faces scrutiny
        * Judge OKs use of lawmaker's post-arrest statement
        * Bill would get state police cruisers on road
        * Patronage allegations give Rauner fodder in race against Quinn


        * Ebert statue unveiled
        * Thomson prison jobs come with tough hiring process
        * State bicyclists group honors Madison County trails
        * Pasta House revamps menu, renames Fairview Heights restaurant
        * Police search for three men in Wal-Mart iPad theft
        * Showers, thunderstorms likely this afternoon, tonight
        * Alorton police officer accused of domestic battery
        * Police interview persons of interest in razor blade case
        * EM police interview 'persons of interest' in razor blades case
        * Police ID driver of truck in crash that killed passenger


        * The 10th District money race
        * Aurora Democrat calls out IHSA
        * Lawyers: Ill. hazing law vague, unconstitutional
        * Ill. House OKs lower-cost hunting bill for seniors
        * Quinn’s running mate takes new consulting job

        * Shimkus discusses disaster issues - The So...
        * Shimkus Hosting Congressional Art Show at ...
        * Congressman to host art show at Tarble - D...
        * Shimkus tours EIU Renewable Energy Center ...
        * Nuke advocate attacks Obama - Reno News & ...
        * Grant puts AEDs in Clark County - Paris Be...
        * Congressman's staff in Neoga today - Journ...
        * Congressman to visit Renewable Energy Cent...
        * Shimkus Honors 100th Anniversary of Heath ...
        * Congressman to visit with constituents in ...

        * Loading Koch Industries Website Too Many T......
        * Maryland and DC among worst for food aller......
        * Cleveland State University to reestablish ......
        * Convicted political boss Al Sanchez runnin......
        * Candidates make last filings for local, st......

        * Illinois Lt. Gov. Simon opposes pension le......
        * Dillard Odd Man Out on Pension Deal Reaction...
        * Sen. Mark Kirk sides with Rauner on pensio......
        * Governor's race infighting threatens pensi......
        * SCHOONERS - Home of Everyone's Favorite Be......

        * Black Power TV
        * Speakers At Chicago Board of Education Meeting
        * Madigan Re-Elected As Illinois Democratic Party Chairman
        * Foster Introduces Bill To Trim College Textbooks Costs
        * Emanuel Pushes Back On Rauner's Robocalls Against Pension Bill
        * The [Thursday] Papers
        * "Standing up for our jobs" sign at Walmart protest in Chicago
        * Protesters rally outside Walmart in Chicago
        * "Walmart stop the death" sign at protest in Chicago
        * Activists protest for higher wages and better living conditions at Walmart in Chicago


        * Cases of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and HIV on the Rise Nationally - Residents Are Encouraged to Get Tested for STDs
        * State Insurance Regulators Urge Property Owners to Review/Add Coverage to Protect from Floods & Water Damage - Most homeowners’ policies do not cover flood damage
        * Governor Quinn Statement on New Proposal to Enact Term Limits for Constitutional Officers
        * Governor Quinn Proclaims “Wrigley Field Day” - Home of the Chicago Cubs Turns 100 Years Old Today
        * Douglas County students win statewide contest - Governor proclaims April 23 "YOUR ACTIONS MATTER!" DAY as statewide underage drinking prevention efforts are kicked off in eastern Illinois




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