Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 - Vallas responds *** Paul Vallas has some explaining to do
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*** UPDATED x1 - Vallas responds *** Paul Vallas has some explaining to do

Thursday, Sep 13, 2018

* Tribune staff tweets…

* From the Tribune story, written by David Jackson, Gary Marx, Jennifer Smith Richards and Juan Perez Jr...

Marvin Lovett was a trusted mentor to students at Johnson Elementary School. He also was a pedophile.

Lovett used a camera hidden in his apartment closet to make secret pornographic videotapes of students, police and school reports show. He plied boys with cash and gym shoes as he destroyed their childhoods.

Shot to death in April 2000 by a teenage student he abused for five years — since the boy was 12 — Lovett has been accused in lawsuits of sexually abusing at least 19 boys in the North Lawndale community.

It is the largest known case of sexual abuse involving a Chicago Public Schools worker, volunteer or vendor in recent decades, one that led to $2.7 million in legal settlements earlier this year. Yet no one at CPS was ever held accountable for allowing a dangerous sexual predator to volunteer and work in the West Side school.

Now a Tribune investigation has uncovered a 58-page case manager’s report from the CPS inspector general’s office in which four CPS employees told investigators they had raised concerns with the school’s principal, Mattie Tyson, about Lovett’s interactions with boys.

Just… revolting. Go read the whole thing.

Scroll down and you’ll see that a school parent reached out to Paul Vallas, who was then CPS CEO, but he apparently didn’t do anything about it.

* Lori Lightfoot called him out…

Paul Vallas’ response to the horrific case of sexual abuse that occurred under his watch at CPS is entirely disqualifying.

Vallas dismissed then, and continues to dismiss today, the fears and frustrations of parents in the face of appalling acts of abuse by a known pedophile. His campaign’s statement that, if parents were truly concerned, they ‘would have endeavored to do more than simply send faxes’ places the burden on victims and evades responsibility.

I call on Paul Vallas to apologize for his deeply disturbing response to Tribune inquiries. For seven years, Chicagoans have had a mayor who blames victims instead of hearing their concerns, and we can’t afford to elect a new leader made from the same mold. It’s time for new leadership, and it’s time for an elected and representative school board that Chicagoans can hold accountable in moments like these.

*** UPDATE *** Vallas campaign…

The case of Marvin Lovett is a tragic one and an example of how an individual can prey on children in a community while perpetuating the image of someone who was dedicated to improving the health and welfare of that community to the extent he was able to get elected to his Local School Council.

During Paul Vallas’ tenure as head of the Chicago Public Schools, Lovett was not an employee, having resigned the year before Vallas became CEO. It was also not until after Lovett was killed, a year before Vallas left the school system, that there was even any attempt to alert anyone of suspicions about Lovett. That consisted a of single anonymous fax apparently sent to a few individuals at CPS, including the School Board President Gery Chico, as well as Mayor Daley, and reporter Pam Zeckman, none of whom ever recall receiving any communication on this matter.

It is inconceivable that had these faxes - or any other communications - actually reached school officials that immediate follow up actions would not be taken as far lesser allegations prompted swift and decisive actions. This was mandated through the comprehensive system that had been put in place to keep children and faculty safe and secure and to ensure prompt and appropriate intervention when abuse was suspected.

This system included: clear protocols and training on procedures to follow when allegations of child abuse surfaced; a 24/7 hotline for anonymous reporting of potential abuse; creation of an Office of Crisis Intervention to provide support services for abused students in schools as well a multitude of other offices and services specifically designed to protect them.

With all these systems of safeguards and supports in place, had any complaint been actually received, immediate action would have been taken. During Vallas’ tenure there were almost daily interventions and an average of one to two dozen employees and others were removed from schools each year for misconduct. The policy was zero tolerance and student and employee safety first.

Sadly, the realities of child abuse and the furtive ways in which predators carry out their despicable activities means that no system - no matter how well designed - can never guarantee that all abusers will be detected. But there was no stone left unturned by the Vallas administration in making certain that everything possible was being done to keep children safe.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ok - Thursday, Sep 13, 18 @ 10:00 am:

    How can you not lift a finger when a parent comes directly to you?

  2. - Stark - Thursday, Sep 13, 18 @ 10:04 am:

    Disgusting. Hopefully this sinks his campaign and he can continue to do what he’s best at if he ever decides to run for anything again - lose.

  3. - anon2 - Thursday, Sep 13, 18 @ 10:22 am:

    The complaint Vallas ignored was far more serious than the one Mapes blew off. Mapes lost his job.

  4. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Sep 13, 18 @ 10:24 am:

    Buh-bye Paul. Thanks for playing.

  5. - Jocko - Thursday, Sep 13, 18 @ 10:34 am:

    I believe this is called pulling a “Paterno”. Let’s hope the end result is the same.

  6. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 13, 18 @ 10:45 am:

    Vallas already had issues. This undermines his core argument that he was a competent and capable administrator and it is likely just the beginning of mores stories to come.

  7. - anon324 - Thursday, Sep 13, 18 @ 10:49 am:

    The Penn State defense doesn’t work, Paul. On top of that, you’re running on the basis of your work at CPS (your D.C. schools and NOLA recovery school district work was middling at best). Dismissing this makes people wonder just how much of the “good” at CPS at the time was actually attributable to you.

  8. - Colin O'Scopy - Thursday, Sep 13, 18 @ 11:17 am:

    How is his communications director, John Kass, going to spin this one?

  9. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Sep 13, 18 @ 11:27 am:

    I believe he is officially toast.

  10. - Levois - Thursday, Sep 13, 18 @ 11:29 am:

    This is terrible! It just shows how far back reports of sexual abuse goes. Looking into this surely didn’t just start with the reports from the Tribune this summer!

  11. - DaleyMail - Thursday, Sep 13, 18 @ 12:46 pm:

    I thought he had a shot, but this should definitely sink him and everything he talked about with transparency and solving any problem brought to him.

    Scratched off the list.

    Wondering where this oppo dump came from?

  12. - Mama - Thursday, Sep 13, 18 @ 1:34 pm:

    I agree with Lori Lightfoot’s assessment of the situation.

    Paul Vallas needs to take himself off the ticket.

  13. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 13, 18 @ 1:41 pm:

    Notice the article also mentions that Vallas’ top deputies were aware, but there is no mention of the top deputies’ names. We also get mention of who replaced Gery Chico at CPS, but there is no mention of who replaced Paul Vallas. The timing for this article coming out, the names mentioned and the names omitted,are very interesting to me. This Mayor’s race seems to be poised to be the worst we’ve seen in years.

  14. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Sep 13, 18 @ 2:06 pm:

    The poor boy who was abused for 5 years, is he still in prison?

  15. - Amalia - Thursday, Sep 13, 18 @ 5:19 pm:

    oh, Paul will be affected by this and I’m sad for the story but not sorry cause Paul is so arrogant. but the most odd part of the story is the mention of Mary Beth VanderWeele (sp for sure) and decisions made/not made on this. what is up with that?

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