From the land of Barack and Michelle and Rahm and Valerie and David and David and Arne and Ray and Desiree, here’s the latest corruption scandal rocking the Windy City. They did it for the children, no doubt:
The credit cards of 89 Chicago Board of Education employees have been yanked in the midst of an investigation into questionable spending by the last two Chicago School Board presidents and their staff, officials revealed Monday.
If employees at board headquarters want their credit cards back, they will have to justify their expenses dating back to June 30, explain why they need a credit card, and receive training on how to use it, Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman Monique Bond said. She said Schools CEO Ron Huberman canceled all credit cards on Jan. 19.
The disclosure of the action comes after the Chicago Sun-Times revealed that an internal report by Schools Inspector General James Sullivan details what sources said was thousands of dollars in artwork, limousine rides, high-priced meals and liquor charged by former board presidents Michael Scott, Rufus Williams or their staff to the board’s tab.
At the time, both board presidents were receiving stipends — $3,000 a month for Scott, who committed suicide in November, and $1,600 a month for his predecessor, Williams. Those stipends have since been canceled.
Mayor Daley said Monday he was awaiting two internal reports on the matter — from Sullivan and from former federal prosecutor Williams Jones Jr., who is expected to be hired by board members Wednesday at a cost of up to $100,000.
While we’re on the subject of Illinois, there’s a battle in the GOP over Obama’s old Senate seat. Infamous Republican Cap-and-Tax-8’er Mark Kirk holds the lead. The field is crowded with several solid conservative rivals, led by Patrick Hughes. Jim Geraghty looks at the race here. The primary election will be held a week from today.