CHICAGO – A defendant in a Chicago Public Schools kickbacks case has changed his plea to guilty.
Thomas Vranas pleaded guilty Tuesday at a hearing in federal court in Chicago to one count of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery. He faces a maximum five years in prison.
He and co-defendant Solomon were accused of arranging to pay then-head of CPS Barbara Byrd-Bennett $2.3 million for her steering $23 million in no-bid contracts to their company, SUPES Academy.
Vranas and Solomon pleaded not guilty in October. Solomon's lawyer has said previously he is speaking to prosecutors about a possible plea deal.
Byrd-Bennett resigned as CPS head in June after word spread of an investigation. She pleaded guilty in October to fraud and is awaiting sentencing.