More reports of fraud, mismanagement at Chicago Public Schools in 2012

Annual report outlines 101 cases of wrongdoing

January 7, 2013

In a 58-page document, Chicago Public Schools Inspector General Jim Sullivan outlines 101 cases of fraud and misconduct in the school system over the course of 2012.

The annual report released today covers everything from principals falsifying free lunch paperwork, to high-level officials accepting gifts from outside contractors, to employees lying about where they live.

Sullivan said the number of complaints has more than doubled in the last five years and is up about by about 200 reports this year.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have the staff or budget to address all the issues that come before us,” Sullivan said.

A number of the investigations have already made headlines, but the report provides additional detail.

Two of the most notable cases involve former Chief Area Officer Deborah Esparza and former Chief of Food Services Louise Esaian.

According to the report, Esparza accepted more than $16,900 from three different education vendors and inappropriately used CPS money to furnish her office and throw parties.

The report also again questions the Board’s decision to allow the district’s Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cawley to continue living in north suburban Winnetka, even though district policy requires employees to live in the city.

Cawley is one of three people remaining from the initial crop of school leaders appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel shortly after he took office in 2011.

CPS spokeswoman Marielle Sainvilus says Cawley intends to move into the city this summer.

Read the full report below.

OIG FY 2012 Annual Report