A campaign contributor to Mayor Lori Lightfoot landed a $1.6 million no-bid deal with Chicago Public Schools after the mayor personally vouched for him, then delivered computers that in some cases didn’t meet district purchasing standards or work for virtual learning.
District officials said they bought the used computers in April to meet an “urgent need” as schools scrambled to get devices to students and the district’s traditional vendors faced backlogs. Yet more than a third are still sitting in a district warehouse as backups, a Chalkbeat/Better Government Association investigation has found.
Mark Aistrope, the CEO of Chicago-based Meeting Tomorrow, who contributed nearly $30,000 to Lightfoot’s mayoral bid, emailed the mayor in late March, saying his company could quickly provide tens of thousands of computers to the school district when it needed them most.
Early the next morning, Lightfoot wrote CPS CEO Janice Jackson to put in a good word.
This is the Janice Jackson whose top aide (Pedro Soto) recently pled guilty to leaking bid info on a $1 BILLION (with a B) contract to one of the bidding parties. Now you have Groot vouching for a $1.6 million contract to a campaign contributor to this same Janice Jackson?
Groot fit into the Chicago-way of doing business pretty easily, didn’t she? And Jackson at the nexus of all this corruption?
Curious and curiouser.