Fire the liar?... Should BBB be fired for falsification of a Sworn Residency Statement she filled out in November 2012 after the Board members voted to hire her as 'Chief Executive Officer'?

In October 2012, the Chicago Board of Education voted to hire Barbara Byrd Bennett as the school system's "Chief Executive Officer" following the dumping of Jean-Claude Brizard. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the Board Report making Byrd Bennett the highest-paid CEO in CPS history, at an annual salary of a quarter million dollars. Additional "performance bonuses" since then are not presently on the public record. But many other things are, and one of them shows that Byrd Bennett lied when she signed one of the routine forms that all new employees of CPS have to fill out: the "Residency" affidavit.

At the time she was hired as "Chief Executive Officer" of CPS at an annual salary of $250,000 per year, Barbara Byrd Bennett swore that she was a resident of Chicago. The above document was obtained by Substance as a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to CPS.Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett falsified hiring documents in 2012 stating that her primary residence is in Chicago, while at the same time she was swearing in Ohio, in order to get a tax break, that her primary residence is in Solon, Ohio.

In documents obtained by Substance News, the signed "Employee Sworn Residency Statement", Byrd Bennett, on November 11, 2012, acknowledged and represented as fact that her primary residence was 233 East Wacker Drive, #2911, Chicago, Illinois 60601.

It has been common knowledge among many in CPS that Byrd-Bennett has traveled almost weekly back and forth between Chicago and Ohio, probably at taxpayer expense. Substance continues to try and get expenses for these trips.

In the three years that Byrd-Bennett has worked for CPS (she was first hired as a consultant in March 2012), the school board has chosen not to enforce the residency rule in her special case, but there is nothing available to the public indicating her special status.

But CPS has been firing dozens of people every year for the same thing. At the same time, the annual report of the Inspector General shows that one of the most active examples of enforcement is about "residency." Every year, the IG's annual report lists dozens of teachers and others (including principals and CPS attorneys) who are then fired for falsifying residency. But never since Byrd Bennett was hired has the IG -- or any member of the Board -- mentioned the fact that the top official in the nation's third largest school system has been lying about her primary residence.

In the strange twists and turns Byrd-Bennett currently under FBI investigation into multiple conflicts of interests with numerous vendors many of which received non-bid contracts from Byrd-Bennett, there is now undisputed truth to the fact that Byrd Bennett lives in Ohio.

Every year, Barbara Byrd Bennett has claimed in Ohio that her "primary residence" is in Solon Ohio. She receives a small break on her Ohio real estate taxes by swearing she lives in Ohio. In 2014, she received a $334 "owner occupancy credit" on her Ohio real estate taxes while claiming for CPS that her primary residence was in Chicago so that she was in compliance with the Chicago Public Schools residency requirements. During the three years since Byrd Bennett first claimed she was a Chicago resident, the Board of Education has fired dozens of school workers for residency "fraud." But the school system's Inspector General has never mentioned that the CEO herself has been doing the same thing. Substance News has found Ohio tax records claiming a local tax reduction on her Ohio residence. Byrd Bennett received a tax exemption in this property: PRIMARY OWNER, BYRD-BENNETT, BARBARA PROPERTY ADDRESS 38155 FLANDERS Dr, SOLON, OH 44139 PARCEL NUMBER, 955-31-025.

Now the case is beyond residency, since Byrd-Bennett signed a sworn statement that she was a resident of Illinois, but the fact is that she is claiming residency for tax purposes in Ohio. Which of the two -- or both -- constitutes perjury? And when will Chicago taxpayers stop paying Barbara Byrd Bennett (she is currently on paid leave while Board of Education Vice President Jesse Ruiz serves as "Interim CEO."

So many questions now spin through a young prosecutor's mind: Will it be door #1 or door #2:

#1 - Falsification of hiring documents, Chicago Public Schools

#2 - Falsification of Ohio Property Tax Statements, PARCEL NUMBER, 955-31-025

Seems Byrd Bennett is getting the benefits of a Chicago government job while living in Ohio which in itself could probably be justified as �Yea, you go the get the money, American dream.�

Problem is that she committed fraud by signing a document that she was a resident in Chicago all the while making statements for tax purposes she was also a resident of Ohio. Last we checked, another famous CPS residency scofflaw Tim Cawley, Chief Financial Officer who lives in Winnetka, is still getting past the residency rule, even after the Office of Inspector General recommended to rescind the residency waiver he was granted by the Board of Education.

The difference is that Cawley did not sign a document as part of his employment that he was a resident in Chicago. Cawley never lied about where he lived. Cawley never signed a document that he lived in Chicago. He just said, "I live in Winnetka," and the Board of Ed said okay.

Byrd-Bennett, on the other hand, has claimed officially that she was a resident of Chicago. Now with her updated OhIo property tax records she is also claiming to be a resident of Ohio, making that grounds for discharge. Maybe now the Chicago Tax payers can get off the hook for that $250,000 yearly contract she has.

There are parts of Byrd-Bennett�s contract that could be used to terminate her services.

Byrd-Bennett is not in compliance with Section 21 of her contract:

�RESIDENCY IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT. The Chief Executive Officer shall establish residency in the School District by no later than March 11, 2013, and, thereafter, maintain residency in the School District for the duration of this Contract.�

Then then there is BBB Contract Section 29, which would include lying on an official hiring document and lying on her Ohio Property taxes:

�If the investigation discloses information which would prohibit employment, be contrary to CPS employment requirements � or call into question the Chief Executive Officers fitness to serve the School District as the role model required by Section 27-12 of the School Code, the Board may, in its sole discretion, terminate this Contract on ten (10) days' written notice to the Chief Executive Officer.� 105 ILCS 5/27-12 (from Ch. 122, par. 27-12)

Character education. "Every public school teacher shall teach character education, which includes the teaching of respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, trustworthiness, and citizenship, in order to raise pupils' honesty, kindness, justice, discipline, respect for others, and moral courage for the purpose of lessening crime and raising the standard of good character." (Source: P.A. 94-187, eff. 7-12-05.)