The head of Chicago Public Schools has requested a leave of absence amid a federal investigation over a $20.5 million no-bid contract the district awarded to a training academy where she once consulted.

Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett's attorney Michael Scudder confirms a letter was sent Friday to Board of Education members requesting a leave effective April 20.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Board of Education President David Vitale said earlier this week that the nation's third-largest district is being investigated by federal authorities.

A spokesman for SUPES Academy in suburban Chicago said it's turned over records to investigators. The academy trains principals.

Published reports say Byrd-Bennett worked as a consultant for SUPES before coming to CPS in 2012. She's also worked in New York, Detroit and Cleveland school districts.