The so-called mastermind of a Chicago Public Schools contract-rigging scheme that funneled bribes to the district's CEO has pleaded guilty to fraud.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Gary Solomon, 48, admitted guilt to one count of wire fraud.
Prosecutors say Solomon, along with Barbara Byrd=Bennett, who was CEO of Chicago Public Schools, was part of the plot to steer $23 million in no-bid deals from the district to the SUPES Academy, which provided training for school principals.
Solomon faces a maximum of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced March 24. He also must pay $254,000 in restitution.
Byrd-Bennett pleaded guilty a year ago. She has not been formally sentenced, but had agreed to a reduced sentence of about seven years in exchange for her cooperation in the case. Byrd-Bennett left the top job in the district in April 2015 as the federal investigation was gathering evidence.
Thomas Vranas, 35, Solomon’s business partner, pleaded guilty in April to a charge of conspiracy to commit bribery. He also awaits sentencing.