Former School District official’s lawsuit claims Ackerman was behind no-bid contract

    It’s been more than a year. Arlene Ackerman is long gone. But the saga that began with a no-bid contract for security camera installation in Philadelphia schools rages on.

    John L. Byars, a former School District of Philadelphia official, has filed a civil rights lawsuit claiming he was made the scapegoat for the pricey contract awarded to a minority firm despite a lower bid from a Bucks County company to put surveillance cameras in schools.

    Byars says it was former Superintendent Arlene Ackerman who pulled that trigger, though Ackerman has denied the accusation and still does.


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    The latest details play out in the pages of today’s Inquirer, where details of Byars’ suit say Ackerman wanted to keep her distance from the contract because of a supposed personal relationship with the president of the company awarded the $12,000-plus contract.

    Byars was suspended in December 2010, not long after news of the no-bid contract was leaked.

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