Children of Washington, D.C. public officials reportedly bypassed a lottery system for getting into coveted public schools by leveraging their relationship with a willing D.C. Public Schools chancellor.
Seven out of 10 people requesting special treatment received help from Chancellor Kaya Henderson, who rejected favors requested by others with less influence, including a deaf Vietnamese immigrant asking that her daughter get into a school where she could practice sign language, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
Henderson reportedly admitted to giving preferential treatment but defended herself, arguing that she was "thoughtful and judicious in her decisions and did not hand out the discretionary placements ‘like candy.'" She also seemed to suggest that public officials do not make enough money in the nation's capital.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's top aides and officials–including City Administrator Rashad M. Young, who received $295,000 in annual salary–were among those who received Henderson's help. Bowser reportedly denied to the Post any wrongdoing on her deputies' part.
News of the scandal came in a report on a D.C. Inspector General's investigation into Henderson's conduct during the 2015 lottery season.