Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the CEO of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), has taken a leave of absence in the wake of a federal investigation into a $20.5 million no-bid contract the district awarded to SUPES Academy, Byrd-Bennett’s former employer. David Vitale, the vice-chairman of the CPS Board of Education, has stepped in as the district’s interim CEO.

“While she has not been accused of any wrongdoing, Byrd-Bennett acknowledged her presence could divert attention from the pressing affairs of the district as it tackles labor talks with the city’s teachers union and confronts a $1.1 billion budget deficit,” according to an April 17 Chicago Tribune report.