Former Chicago Public Schools Employee Skates on 18 Months of Probation

By James R. Scott, The Chicago Times

March 21, 2023

CHICAGO – A former Chicago Public Schools employee has been sentenced to 18 months of probation after pleading guilty to one count of making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to federal prosecutors, 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, a former member of a CPS evaluation committee that was 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 that he repeatedly provided non-public information to the lobbyist’s colleague concerning the award of the contract in exchange for  promised benefits extended to Soto.  Soto further admitted that in 2019 he knowingly made false statements to the FBI when he denied having provided the lobbyist’s colleague with inside information about the awarding of the contract.

On March 16, 2023, Soto was sentenced by a US District Court Judge along with an additional $3,000 fine and 100 hours of community service.