Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fox C-6 School Board Unanimously Agrees To Request A State Audit!

August 12, 2014 - The Fox C-6 School Board unanimously agreed to request a State Audit of the Fox C-6 School District. There was enough evidence to demonstrate that the Fox C-6 School District has had some very serious issues going on internally for many years that have been hidden from the public.

Mr. John Brazeal, Fox's new CFO ran through several of the problems that gave him reason to encourage the school board to request a State Audit.

One of the things that Mr. Brazeal pointed out as being a problem was that "The buildings seem to operate on a great deal of intimidation."

This probably isn't a surprise to anyone working for the district. But, it's not what the public has been lead to believe. It's also not the way to operate and lead a National District of Character.

Superintendent Critchlow's tag line on her Twitter account was, "Every decision is based on what's best for the kids!". I think everyone now knows otherwise. This was about control and getting the most out of the taxpayers for her own personal gain and the gain of those she favored.

Mr. Brazeal outlined some of the reasons that he believes that the Fox C-6 School Board should request a State Audit of the school district and they are listed below from the audio recording of the meeting.

Reasons For Requesting a State Audit
  • Noticed a number of transactions that were of personal nature rather than a business nature. We all know how wrong that is.
  • Unauthorized rates of compensation. People were paid at rates above what they were above what were authorized by board action to be paid.
  • Misuse of district property for personnel purposes.
  • Transactions that were illegal.
  • Some bond issue monies were possibly use to cover or hide deficits at an earlier date.
  • In mid June Mr. Crutchley recalled all of the credit cards.
  • A limited number of credit cards have been reissued with new guidelines and user agreements.
  • Mr. Brazeal's predecessor (Mark McCutchen) shred most of the documents in the his office.
  • Other people in the organization attempted to destroy records by deleting electronic records and attempted to wipe there computers and network drives clean. (The district is working on recovery that data and a lot of that data has been recovered already.)
  • Actions have been taken to alter the way they do business and curtail the situation.

Cheryl Hermann had questions about the state audit. She said that Fox had a state audit 15 years ago. That audit occurred in 2002. Cheryl Hermann believes that the state audit in 2002 didn't go deep enough. There was some laughter and disbelief from the audience regarding her comments.

Mrs. Hermann does NOT understand that the school board is responsible for overseeing the payment of bills. It's the school board's job to review what they are approving when authorizing payments each month.

Mr. Brazeal believes that there will be civil and criminal actions coming out of the audit. He believes that our financial statements are materially correct. He said that the credit card statements that were recently released generate a tremendous amount of questions.

Mr. Brazeal also gave his thoughts on why things were happening the way they were based on stories he had been told.
"Apparently there was a great deal of intimidation towards people raising objections to what they were doing. People were always being told what they were being instructed and directed to do. That's unfortunate. Now what has happened I don't believe was the work of one person. Things takes collusion. My predecessors could have done a better job in dealing with these issues. The superintendent could have done a better job in dealing with these issues. The culture that was set. Between those two parties they hold a good deal of responsibility of keeping the thing on track."
Acting Superintendent Tim Crutchley spoke after Mr. Brazeal made the above statement. I think almost everyone realizes that Mr. Crutchley was in the middle of all of this as well and so having Mr. Crutchley involved with the audit and providing documentation is a grave concern to the community. There should be very few people in the Central Office that are able to walk away from this unscathed.

Mr. Brazeal answered more of Cheryl Hermann's question as to how this could happen. The Fox C-6 school board should have been asking more questions and not just taking Superintendent Critchlow's word on things.
"You were presented with a hire. You didn't necessarily see the contract and I believe you should see all documents in their final form before you vote on them. I believe you were voting on a number of documents, situations, transactions, hires and compensation rates, etc. without seeing the document. The documents but even if you did there are cases that I found where those documents were altered after the fact. It's that serious. ... It's that wrong."
I'm very familiar with the changing of documents after the fact. All of this has been allowed to go on for far too long. I'm glad to see that things are starting to change!