Jun 13, 2018

The inspector general for the Chicago Public Schools is expected to review hundreds of sexual abuse cases and take over future investigations from the district’s Law Department, pending approval from the school board.

Following the Tribune’s “Betrayed” series, Nicholas Schuler said it should be his office, not the city’s law department, that investigates claims against employees, vendors and volunteers.

In a letter sent to Schuler on Tuesday, Chicago Board of Education President Frank Clark proposed that CPS transfer duties to district’s independent watchdog.The board will vote on this during a June 27 meeting.

Clark also tasked the inspector general’s office with reviewing sexual misconduct cases dating back to 2000 and “further as warranted by your office, to determine if additional actions are required and appropriate corrective action was taken.”

The Chicago Tribune found that ineffective background checks left students vulnerable to abuse and CPS faculty often failed to alert authorities to sexual misconduct allegations. These investigations are handled by the district’s Law Department, which also defends the district against student lawsuits. Critics have called this practice a conflict of interest.