Friday, August 22, 2014

More Fox C-6 Credit Card Data That Doesn't Look Like "Conscientious" Spending!

Fox C-6's new CFO John Brazeal emailed me a copy of the 2012-2013 VISA Credit Card Statements yesterday. This was the first document provided in response to my Sunshine Requests sent to the district on Monday August 11, 2014. His office has been very busy after they started looking into how school district administrators were using their district supplied credit cards over the last several years. You will see why when you review the statement.

The taxpayers and parents in the Fox C-6 School District are going to be quite upset maybe even quite mad as to how much Dianne Critchlow and Dan Baker were spending on their trips for meals and airfare. Plus, you won't like the fact that their spouses (Jamie Critchlow and Angela Burns Baker) also went on at least two trips as documented in the VISA card statements in October and November 2012 and June 2013. Airfare was purchased in October 2012 for the November 2012 trip to Denver Colorado. The airfare for each of those trips was $605.60 and $541.80 respectively for those trips per person. This does not count other airline fees or parking fees at Lambert airport.

We'll need to get copies of the actual VISA statements for the 2013-2014 school year as the VISA statements reveal a LOT MORE data than the report that was published in the first release of the 2013-2014 VISA Card expenses. The 2012-2013 VISA card statements lists the persons the airline tickets were purchased for as well as what the travel destinations were. Not all of the airfare is listed in the VISA statement so the DISCOVER CARD statements for the same time frame will most likely provide that information.

From the parents I've talked to in the district over the last couple of weeks and from the comments I've read online, I think that everyone's going to feel even more taken advantage of with the release of the 2012-2013 VISA Card Statements.

I used PDF-XChange Viewer software to assemble the VISA Card Statements into a single document and run Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on the statements to make them searchable. When you read the statements in a PDF viewer you can search them for charges with keywords such as "Denver", "Orlando", "Palm", "Margaritaville", "Critchlow" or "Baker". NOTE: Leave out the quotes when searching.

I'm not sure how many people were eating at the meals on the Orlando trip in June 2013. But, the prices for meals were outrageous. On Dianne Critchlow's card there was a charge for $362.04 at the Margaritaville restaurant and on Dan Baker's card there was a charge for $774.29 at the Palm Restaurant which is in the Hard Rock Cafe Hotel. Those must have been some really nice meals!

You'll notice that there were plenty of other meals purchased locally on the 2012-2013 VISA card statements just like there were on the 2013-2014 credit card statements. It doesn't look to me as if all of the meals purchased were for "business" type lunches. A lot of the charges represent one person or possibly two person meals. When you're the 3rd highest paid superintendent in the state making more than $260,000 in salary and even much more than that in benefits, Dianne Critchlow could have and should have been paying for her own meals.

It was stated in this week's Arnold-Imperial Leader article by Dianne Critchlow's attorney that "Dr. Critchlow always used district funds conscientiously." Most taxpayers and parents will most likely disagree with Dianne's attorney on this claim. It's the same smoke screen that's been getting thrown out there for years. You can be the judge of things by reviewing the credit card statements.

In this week's article in the Arnold-Imperial Leader, Dianne's attorney sent Fox's new CFO a Cease and Desist Letter as well. Dianne really likes using the Cease and Desist letters to keep the public from learning the truth.

As taxpayers and parents, you'll probably wonder why our school board members weren't questioning what was being purchased on district credit cards. I've been asking our school board that questions for quite some time. In the past, I never received a response from the school board. They're probably wondering themselves why they weren't looking into the things that I kept asking about. Hindsight is 20-20!

Now that the Fox C-6 school board finally took a look at the credit card statements and what was being purchased, it's pretty easy to see why Fox's Central Office administrators had their credit cards taken away from them this year.

My father told me this week that when he worked in the district that the district only had one credit card when Mr. Rickman was the superintendent. While Dr. Hudson was the superintendent, the district obtained a second credit card for the Home Ec classes to make purchasing supplies easier for them.

The Fox C-6 community needs to insist to our school board that the audit and review goes back to when Dianne Brown-Critchlow began her stint as superintendent. We need to recover as much money as possible from her and the other administrators that weren't using their credit cards according to school district policy.

Dianne Critchlow is going to have a tough time explaining to the public that all of the charges on her credit card were legitimate expenses!