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Press Release

Former Chicago Public Schools Employee Sentenced to 18 Months of Probation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO — A federal judge has sentenced a former Chicago Public Schools employee to 18 months of probation after he pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

PEDRO SOTO, 48, of Chicago admitted in a plea agreement that he intentionally misled the FBI while the agency was conducting a criminal investigation into Soto’s interactions with a lobbyist and the lobbyist’s colleague regarding the awarding of a custodial services contract valued at approximately $1 billion.  Soto was a member of a CPS evaluation committee tasked in 2016 with recommending to the Chicago Board of Education which company or companies CPS should hire to perform the services, and the lobbyist and the lobbyist’s colleague were assisting one of the companies bidding for the contract.  Soto admitted in the plea agreement that he repeatedly provided non-public information to the lobbyist’s colleague concerning the award of the contract, and that he had done so, in part, because the lobbyist’s colleague had promised to extend various benefits to Soto.  Soto further admitted that in 2019 he intentionally made false statements to the FBI when he denied having provided the lobbyist’s colleague with inside information about the awarding of the contract.

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman sentenced Soto 18 months of probation, along with a $3,000 fine and 100 hours of community service on March 16, 2023.

The sentence was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and Robert W. Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The Chicago Board of Education Inspector General’s Office provided valuable assistance.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amarjeet Bhachu and Michelle Kramer.

Updated March 20, 2023

Public Corruption