CHICAGO (CBS) — At least 16 Chicago Public Schools employees have been fired, are facing dismissal, or have resigned from their jobs, after the district’s inspector general determined they weren’t living in the city as required.
All CPS employees are required to live in Chicago, unless they receive a waiver, and could be fired if they lie about their address.
The latest annual report from CPS Inspector General Nicholas Schuler revealed his office received 140 complaints about district employees violating the residency requirements in the 2018-19 school year.
While the district’s watchdog cannot investigate every single claim, his office recommended 12 employees be fired for residency violations last school year, and four others who were investigated resigned after they were questioned.
- An elementary school teacher had been living in Manteno since 2006, and twice updated her address on file with false addresses in Chicago. Schuler’s office also determined she violated the district’s paid time off policy by using at least 2.5 sick days for a trip to Mexico, and regularly used sick days just before or after winter break, when she usually traveled to Mexico. The Chicago Board of Education is moving to fire her.
- A special education classroom assistant and a technology coordinator moved to Hazel Crest during the 2013-14 school year, while still working for CPS, and later enrolled their son in CPS from 2014 through 2019, even though the family lived outside the city. Schuler’s office determined they owed the district at least $53,000 in non-resident tuition. The inspector general recommended the parents be fired, and the district seek reimbursement of the non-resident tuition. The couple resigned before they could be terminated, and are discussing a payment plan for the tuition. They also were placed on the “do not hire” list at CPS.
- An elementary school teacher lied about living in Deerfield, and occasionally used CPS resources to perform duties for his second job as a real estate broker during school hours, even though he did not have his principal’s approval to work his second job. The inspector general also found he improperly used sick days to attend a wedding. The inspector general recommended he be fired, and the district is in the process of making a disciplinary decision.
- An elementary school teacher lied about living in Cicero since 2010. She resigned after the inspector general recommended she be fired, and the board put her on the “do not hire” list.
- An elementary school teacher was living in Arlington Heights since 2008, and lied about keeping an old Chicago address as her home. The board fired her, based on the IG’s finding, and placed her on the “do not hire” list.
- An elementary school security officer lived in Maywood for 15 years. Schuler’s office has recommended he be fired and placed on the “do not hire” list. The district has not yet decided on disciplinary action in his case.
- A high school teacher lied about living in Park Ridge, and resigned after he was questioned by the inspector general. He has been placed on the “do not hire” list.
- A high school science teacher has lived in Glenview for her entire 14-year career at CPS, falsely claiming she lived in Chicago. While the inspector general said, as a science teacher, she was in a special-needs position eligible for a residency waiver, she never received one. The district is moving to fire her, based on the inspector general’s report.
- A school culture coordinator lived in Evanston for his entire five-year career with the district. He was fired, as recommended by the inspector general, and was placed on the “do not hire” list.
- A high school clerk lied about living in Calumet Park. The district fired him, based on the inspector general’s recommendation, but a hearing officer later reversed that decision and reinstated the clerk.
- An elementary school teacher lived in Lansing, where her son attended school, despite claiming she lived in Chicago. She resigned after she was questioned, and has been placed on the “do not hire” list.
- A community coordinator in the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives at the CPS central office was living in Skokie, and resigned after he was interviewed by the inspector general’s office. He’s been placed on the district’s “do not hire” list.
- A special education classroom assistant (SECA) lied about living in Romeoville, and Schuler’s office recommended he be fired. The same SECA also was found to have enrolled his son in free all-day preschool at the school where he worked, even though staff are only entitled to half-day preschool, and free all-day preschool is not available to the general public. Schuler’s office said the school board is still reviewing the SECA’s case.
- A team leader in the CPS accounting office lied about living in River Forest, and resigned from CPS after she was questioned. She has been placed on the “do not hire” list.
- A high school lunch room attendant lied about living in Forest Park for seven years. She resigned after the inspector general recommended she be fired. She was placed on the “do not hire” list.