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.


    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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