CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Public Schools employees are required to live within city limits, with a few exceptions. It’s been the rule for a long time, yet dozens of workers break it and get fired because of it every year.
Records show what happens after someone reports residency fraud.
CPS Inspector General Nicholas Schuler’s team staked out a CPS employee’s home in Cicero at least seven times after someone reported she was breaking the decades-old rule that city of Chicago employees live in the city.
Schuler’s investigation found her deed, voter registration, driver’s license, and more all listed the Cicero address.
The employee resigned after she was confronted. As a recruitment team leader for the CPS talent office, she should have known the city’s residency policy.
“I think it’s very clear that in our cases, everyone is aware of the policy,” Schuler said.
Teachers, counselors, clerks, warehouse employees, managers, and even a principal all lied about living in the city in 2018.
“We definitely want to make sure that everybody is held to the same standard,” Schuler said.
Schuler’s office received 180 residency fraud complaints last year alone. Resources limited the number his team could investigate.
Even so, investigators uncovered violators who lived as far away as Lockport and Round Lake. CPS fired at least two of them; another 20 resigned.
“In some cases, it sort of might be an open secret,” Schuler said.
However, Schuler said he didn’t know if there are any CPS employees actively covering for co-workers who don’t live in the city.
His office might not have time to find out.
“We get a complaint on this every day or two,” Schuler said. “People who are following the residency requirement are probably mad.”
The Cicero woman and others out of a job are also now on a “do not hire” list.
In a statement, CPS said it is “committed to holding employees accountable for violations of our policy.”