Today the Chicago Public Schools inspector general released a detailed report showing how CPS CEO Forrest Claypool repeatedly lied and tried to cover up improper spending and conflicts of interest with a contracting firm for the city.
In the report, CPS IG Nicholas Schuler called for Claypool to be fired for his repeated lies and actions surrounding the ethics probe. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has supported Claypool despite the new findings and publicly said that Claypool should have a chance to tell his side of the story.
Faisal Khan, former legislative inspector general for Chicago and current Project Six CEO, released the following statement:
“The actions of Forrest Claypool—hiring of a friend, and then covering up the hire and lying to law enforcement—violate city rules, period. He should resign or be fired. Those should be the only options on the table.
“If Claypool does not resign, Mayor Emanuel should fire him immediately. If Mayor Emanuel refuses to do that and protects his friend over the best interest of taxpayers and Chicago students, then he is failing his responsibilities as mayor.
“Lying to an inspector general has been a fireable offense in Chicago for a very long time and many teachers, police and city workers have lost their jobs for that very reason. This report is simply calling for fair applications of the city’s ethics laws, regardless of title.
“Claypool hired his friend as a general counsel for CPS, then when a serious conflict of interest was revealed, instead of addressing the problem, he tried to cover it up, lied to investigators and the public and tried to quash an investigation.
“Honest mistakes in government happen, but for a public official to go through such efforts to cover up misconduct and lie is an ultimate betrayal of the public’s trust. And for Mayor Emanuel to try and search for a silver lining to Claypool’s actions shows that the mayor is much more concerned with protecting his political allies than fighting for what’s best for Chicago students and taxpayers. Taxpayers need to pay close attention to this case.”
For oversight and corruption expertise, Faisal Khan, CEO of Project Six
For legal expertise, Michael Graham, General Counsel of Project Six
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