powered by FreeFind                                 

Updated February 7, 2015

Home Page
Bio and contact info

Media reports

The Sidebar (Peter's blog)

Got a tip?
Unreported or under-reported news stories
Website statement of purpose

Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan (now U.S. Secretary of Education) and SALF founder/president Carol J. Spizzirri. According to the San Diego Reader, Duncan called Spizzirri -- a twice-convicted adult shoplifter who claimed non-existent medical and education credentials, and whose daughter took out a protective order against her -- "one of my heroes."

The $174,000 skeleton in Arne Duncan's closet by Peter M. Heimlich
"The truth is always hard to swallow, but it can only make us better, stronger and smarter. That's what accountability is all about - facing the truth and taking responsibility" - Arne Duncan quoted in the Los Angeles Times
When he headed the Chicago Public Schools, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan personally arranged a $174,000 contract for the Save-A-Life Foundation (SALF) to provide first aid training classes for 18,000 students from 2004-06. $49,000 came from the Chicago Public Schools and $125,000 came from Ronald McDonald House Charities. But the schools have no records that any training ever happened -- just invoices and payments signed-off for by Duncan.

Since then, SALF has been the subject of dozens of broadcast and print media exposes and the now-defunct organization is reportedly under investigation by the IL Attorney General for the "possible $9 million misappropriation" of federal and state funds.

Duncan has repeatedly ignored reasonable questions about his relationship to SALF and the $174,000 contract.

On January 5, 2011, I submitted this thoroughly-documented request to CPS Inspector General James Sullivan to investigate what happened to the money CPS paid SALF: