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Report: Former Head Of SRC Played Politics With Lucrative Contract

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The former head of the School Reform Commission pressured a non-profit to back-out of a deal to run Martin Luther King High, in favor of a politically-connected firm. That’s the conclusion of a just-released investigation by Mayor Nutter’s chief integrity officer.

The report says former School Reform Commission Chair Robert Archie, who just resigned on Monday, put the squeeze on, to make sure that a firm favored by State Representative Dwight Evans got the lucrative charter to run Martin Luther King High. A parents advisory council at King recommended the Mosaica company, and the School Reform Commission approved Mosaica last March.

But the report says after a closed door meeting among Archie, Evans and Mosaica, the company withdrew, clearing the way for Foundations, a non-profit with ties to Evans, to run King. Foundations, though, withdrew after the controversy surfaced and the district is now running King as a Promise Academy.

Conchevia Washington, the head of the King School Advisory Council, called Evans’ efforts to exert his influence “selfish,” “He may have thought that this was in the best intention of the school and for himself, but I don’t believe that those children were ever taken into consideration.”

Mayor Nutter’s spokesman Mark McDonald says the mayor, who appointed Archie, is disappointed in him, “It is not something that in city government we would condone.”

There’s been no comment from Evans, but Archie in a prepared statement said he was shocked and angered by the report. He called it pure fiction, and said it was actually former superintendnet Arlen Ackerman who wanted Mosaica to withdraw.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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  • CC

    you read stuff like this and about this corruption it really brings you down. This is a disgrace. Those people are a disgrace. First sign something underhanded is going on is a “closed door” meeting. no meetings concerning the well being of a community or school should ever be closed door.
    “non-profit” is thrown around a little to losely also. someone is profiting by this. i hope the company that was forced to withdraw stands up and sues the individuals. they had to threatened with the possibility of having their other operations shut down. Here is the good news- and what makes me optomistic about our city government- that there is a “CHIEF INTEGRITY OFFICER” not only is there one but also one that actually does the job they were hired to do. Thank you and keep up the good work!!

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