Former Chicago Public Schools Teacher Sentenced to 18 Months Probation for Lying to FBI


The former Chief of Staff to the Chicago Public Schools CEO was sued Thursday by the FBI for giving confidential bid information on a $1 billion management contract to an operative working for one of the bidders. He was sentenced to 18 months probation for lying.

Pedro Soto, 45, who stepped down as then-CEO Janice Jackson’s chief of staff in 2020, entered into a plea bargain with federal prosecutors in exchange for “various interests” in CPS. He admitted to repeatedly providing operatives with details about internal tender deliberations.

Soto’s sentence includes a $3,000 fine and 100 hours of community service at the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

In a court statement, Soto tearfully apologized to his wife and colleagues.

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman said the sentence was intended as a “deterrent” for other criminals who hope to be able to get lighter sentences for similar crimes. The first maximum sentence Soto faced was five years in prison.

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FBI agents interviewed Soto at his home in 2017. Authorities said Soto “asked, offered, promised, or received” benefits from lobbyists who passed on “non-public information,” and that it That’s why Soto received those benefits.

In a 19-page petition, Mr. Soto acknowledged that he had numerous discussions with operatives about closed CPS deliberations in 2016 and 2017, and provided details of what the CPS Evaluation Board had sought in the tender.

Details revealed on Soto’s plea bargaining show show that the A company that ultimately lost its bid for the contract was GCA Services Group.

Soto resigned a week before the charges were made public. Jackson later sent a letter to her CPS staff, stating that her office had taken away access to Soto’s district’s information system and launched an internal investigation into her shortly after she learned of her allegations. .

The 2016 tender was part of a CPS plan to privatize building maintenance operations amid the district’s tight financial situation.

Contributed by Jason Meisner of the Chicago Tribune.


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Written by Natalia Chi

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