Report: Ex-board of ed. members misspent funds

January 5, 2011 4:22:58 AM PST
A new report says former high-ranking Chicago Board of Education members misspent hundreds of thousands of dollars in public money.

The report -- prepared by the Chicago Board of Education's Inspector General -- says that board credit cards and purchase orders were used for hundreds of thousands of dollars in "questionable expenditures" from July 2008 until November 2010.

Nearly $900,000 in board money was used for gifts, charitable donations, holiday parties, alcohol at restaurants and to sweep the board offices for electronic bugs.

The report stretches over the board administrations of Rufus Williams and Michael Scott.

Inspector General James Sullivan says most of the questionable spending took place during the Scott administration.

"CPS was cutting budgets and asking employees to take furlough days, not awarding merit raises and at the same time spending money on these types of things when it probably could have been used for a better purpose," Sullivan said.

On Tuesday, the current Board of Education CEO called the findings "serious" and says the board has put in controls to make sure public funds are used appropriately.