Pilsen Residents Ask Madigan to Investigate UNO’s Use of Public Funds — Rampant Cronyism at UNO Could Spill onto Other Political Operators

Thursday February 14 2013

Pilsen residents, members of Pilsen Alliance, sent a letter to Attorney General Lisa Madigan Wednesday asking her to conduct a thorough investigation about the use of tax payers’ dollars by the United Neighborhood Organization. A recent Chicago Sun Times investigation exposed extensive cronyism at UNO, a strong ally of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Danny Solis, and a major charter school operator.

“The mayor closes public schools and opens charter schools such as UNO,” said Rosalie Mancera, Pilsen Alliance board member said. “This rampant political favoritism and possible illegal use of tax payers’ dollars is an example of the lack of accountability that comes with charters, and must be investigated.”

“If this is not a good reason to stop funding charters, until at least these matters are investigated, then I don’t know what is,” Mancera said.

Numerous documents and testimony have emerged in recent days showing how UNO is building a charter network as a means to build political power in Chicago and nearby suburbs. Pilsen Alliance has made some of that documentation available to Madigan. Unfortunately, this power is being used reward political allies and family members for their loyalty and patronage. UNO’s possible misuse of Illinois taxpayer money must be investigated.

Among the evidence forwarded to Madigan are reports of UNO leaders encouraging school personnel and the benefactors to and of its school network, to promote political candidates, support contracts to political allies and leverage relationships with the political establishment for their own advantages and profit.

“We are outraged by what seems as the blatant misuse of state funds to promote nepotism and corruption at the expense public education,” said Nelson Soza, Pilsen Alliance executive director. “It is critical the attorney general looks into this and sets a zero tolerance standard on this behavior.”

The Pilsen Alliance is a neighborhood organization that represents local school council members and parents in the Pilsen community.
Learn more:
ILAG UNO Document
Letter to Attorney General Lisa Madigan
Pilsen Residents Ask Madigan to Investigate UNO’s Use of Public Funds — Rampant Cronyism at UNO Could Spill onto Other Political Operators

Learn more: