The piece below is an excellent example of how board members break the law but nothing happens to them. We have a huge battle ahead of us. You need to decide if you are going to sit back and take it or start to speak up. The following piece appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago Sun-Times.
2 school council members can keep seats
June 4, 2006
BY ROSALIND ROSSI Education Reporter
Two South Loop local school council members can keep their seats, even though they were won in an election in which six "seedy'' men were paid $5 each for their votes, a hearing officer concluded Friday.
Buying LSC votes may break the law, but the six votes were not enough to change the outcome of the election, so the results must stand, Chicago Public Schools hearing officer Stephen Pugh ruled.
During an earlier hearing, a resident of the New Ritz Hotel said on videotape that a man went floor to floor at the South Loop flophouse April 19, offering people $5 to vote in the nearby South Loop LSC election. Takers were told to punch 27 and 29 -- for LSC community candidates Enrique Perez and Jacques Eady -- the resident said.
'What a great example'
"The petitioners have demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that six individuals were paid to vote for Mr. Perez and Mr. Eady,'' Pugh ruled. "The penalty for any such violation, however, is in the hands of other authorities.''
South Loop LSC parent member John Jacoby, who challenged the election of Perez and Eady, said Friday's ruling "sent a horrible message.''
LSC members oversee school budgets, decide the fates of principals and vote on other school matters.
"I'm outraged that they are now representatives of the school when the hearing officer said, 'Yeah, they bought votes,' " Jacoby said. "What a great example for the kids at our school.''
CPS spokesman Michael Vaughn said the case will be referred to the Cook County state's attorney's office for investigation, and CPS officials will review the LSC election handbook to see if it needs to be improved.
"Vote-buying should, if proven, make a candidate ineligible to serve,'' Jacoby said. "That's one sentence they can put into their handbook to resolve our issue.''