CPS Covers Up Drug Trafficking Employee David J. Pittman

In a year and a half investigation Substance News has uncovered the fact that a wanted felon was on Chicago Public Schools (CPS) payroll, working at Hyde Park Career Academy High School. David J. Pittman was on CPS payroll with a Felony Warrant issued January 23, 2009 for delivery of controlled substance on school property. Mr. Pittman is son of the politically connected Dr. Donald Pittman, once Chief Officer of High Schools for CPS, under Paul Vallas. The elder Pittman is now Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Development, Northern Illinois University.

David J. Pittman is now serving a six year prison sentence in the Danville Correctional Center. Mr. Pittman’s admission date to prison was March 25, 2010 and his release date is April 13, 2016, according to state record. David Pittman was convicted of a Class X Felony.

Tips to Substance in March of 2010 said that there was a politically connected employee working for CPS despite the fact that drug trafficking charges were pending against him. The tips led to a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the CPS Law Department that were ignored by CPS officials.

On one occasion Substance was told that the matter was an "open case still under investigation" even after David Pittman had been convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to six years in prison.

In any system that has more than 40,000 employees, there will be a great deal of activities, and one of the jobs of the various levels of supervision is to ensure that certain standards are maintained. A school system presumably has to follow a more strict set of standards because it serves children of all ages daily. The school system can't simply let anyone work for it.

But as many have long known in Chicago, clout can overcome many rules and regulations. The case of a convicted drug trafficker working for a public school system is nothing new, but the alarming facts of this investigation show a pattern of cover-up, influence peddling and child endangerment at the highest levels of the Chicago Public Schools system.

From investigating court and arrest records in conjunction with CPS position files (and anonymous sources), it is clear that David Pittman was arrested, charged and hiding from law enforcement on a felony warrant while employed in a Chicago public high school. The Chicago Public Schools Employee/Position Roster as of June 30, 2009 shows David J. Pittman employed as a School Security Officer at Hyde Park Career Academy under Position #160017.

Confidential sources also confirm that David Pittman was working at the high school at the time the warrant was issued, January 23, 2009, for his arrest. To this date, the CPS Freedom of Information Office refuses to release any information regarding David Pittman, saying that there is an "open investigation" into this matter — even though the convicted drug trafficker is now serving a six year prison sentence for a Class X Felony.

For people to understand that this was not like a traffic accident and did not happen overnight, it should be understood that the issuance of a Felony Class X Warrant (Warrant No. 19051, Case No. 09-CF-40 21st Judicial Circuit, County of Kankakee, State of Illinois) takes time: including the initial arrest for the charge, court appearances, failure to appear in court and then finally a warrant is issued. From looking at the arrest warrant it may be that Mr. Pittman’s original arrest for drug trafficking went back to 2008 (Originating Agency/NO: KMG #08-128).

As Substance has reported, the Chicago Public Schools Inspector General's office has devoted thousands of investigative hours during the past five years checking on employee residency. CPS workers, with some exceptions (currently, one of them is Tim Cawley, Chief Administrative Officer) must live in Chicago. Every year, CPS investigates and disciplines (at times, firing) employees who violate the residency rule.

But for at least a couple of years, a felon was working in security at a CPS high school and nobody in power noticed — or did anything about it.

Then there is the issue of how someone who was indicted for a Class X crime and with a felony warrant for drug trafficking was allowed to work in the Chicago Public Schools around children when the address listed on the arrest warrant was 162 N. Washington, Kankakee, Illinois. A clear violation of the residency rules according to Board of Education Policy. The only way this could happen if the Inspector General turned a blind eye to the original arrest of Mr. Pittman for Drug trafficking and then the felony arrest warrant for drug trafficking — all while the guy had his address listed as outside of the Chicago city limits.

There might be an explanation of how a wanted drug trafficker could be on a public High School payroll.

Hyde Park Career Academy is the same high school that had a grade changing scandal (March 2010) that was covered up.

Then a month later there was an investigation regarding fraudulent attendance records (April 2010) that was also covered up.

In both cases, the Chicago Board of Education Office of Inspector General did not recommend any disciplinary actions against the administration of the high school. The CPS Law Department did nothing to discipline any administrator at the high school; in fact the principal was rewarded with a new four-year contract after these scandals. It is clear just from the information gathered by Substance even after the CPS Law Department and OIG cover-up that there was a wanted drug trafficking felon working in a CPS high school: A clear violation of every rule in the book.

The explanation may be Chicago simple: David Pittman was clout-protected, and CPS knowingly and willingly endangered the safety of 1000's of young people by allowing a wanted felon to work inside of a public school.

In an era when veteran teachers are illegally terminated without cause after years of spotless service to he Chicago Public Schools it is criminal that the government offices that are meant to protect the children of Chicago are used to cover up wanted felony drug traffickers while being paid by tax dollars just because he has some clout.

Multiple communications with the Board of Education Office of Inspector General, CPS Law Department and CPS Freedom of Information Office have gone unanswered.


Charges on the felony warrant:

720 ILCS 570/407(b)(1)

(720 ILCS 570/407) (from Ch. 56 1/2, par. 1407)

Any person 18 years of age or over who violates any subsection of Section 401 or subsection (b) of Section 404 by delivering a controlled, counterfeit or look‑alike substance to a person under 18 years of age may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term up to twice the maximum term and fined an amount up to twice that amount otherwise authorized by the pertinent subsection of Section 401 and Subsection (b) of Section 404.

720 ILCS 570/401(a)(2)(A)

(720 ILCS 570/401) (from Ch. 56 1/2, par. 1401) Sec. 401. Except as authorized by this Act, it is unlawful for any person knowingly to manufacture or deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture or deliver, a controlled substance other than methamphetamine, a counterfeit substance, or a controlled substance analog. A violation of this Act with respect to each of the controlled substances listed herein constitutes a single and separate violation of this Act. For purposes of this Section, "controlled substance analog" or "analog" means a substance which is intended for human consumption, other than a controlled substance, that has a chemical structure substantially similar to that of a controlled substance in Schedule I or II, or that was specifically designed to produce an effect substantially similar to that of a controlled substance in Schedule I or II. Examples of chemical classes in which controlled substance analogs are found include, but are not limited to, the following: phenethylamines, N‑substituted piperidines, morphinans, ecgonines, quinazolinones, substituted indoles, and arylcycloalkylamines. For purposes of this Act, a controlled substance analog shall be treated in the same manner as the controlled substance to which it is substantially similar. (a) Any person who violates this Section with respect to the following amounts of controlled or counterfeit substances or controlled substance analogs, notwithstanding any of the provisions of subsections (c), (d), (e), (f), (g) or (h) to the contrary, is guilty of a Class X felony and shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment as provided in this subsection (a) and fined as provided in subsection (b):



Offender Status: IN CUSTODY

Location: DANVILLE


Admission Date: 03/25/2010

Projected Parole Date: 04/13/2013

Projected Discharge Date: 04/13/2016






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