Friday, October 31, 2014

Would You Revoke Your Consent if Your School District Wanted To Hang Your Child Upside Down?

As a parent, would you revoke your consent to an independent evaluation if a district doctor wanted to hang your child upside down by their ankles for 3 weeks?

That's what a former Fox C-6 School District attorney stated during a Section 504 meeting in May 2009 as an example as to why you may wish to revoke your consent to an independent evaluation for Section 504 eligibility.

How would you react as a parent if you had been told that during a meeting?

As the district attorney also explained during the meeting, if you choose to revoke your consent the meeting's over!

Wow! That sounds like an ultimatum to me. But, that's just the way things have been handled in the Fox C-6 school district for years. It's been a very easy way to make parents choose as to whether or not they really want to pursue having a Section 504 plan written for their child.

Luckily the majority of parents never have to go through all of the nonsense that a school district will put you through to write up a Section 504 plan. But, it's one of those memories that will last a lifetime if you had to go through it.

In the end, we were forced to go to Due Process in May 2010 as I predicted at the May 2009 meeting. It was quite easy to see that coming after having nearly a year to learn about the law before the May 2009 meeting and after talking to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (ED OCR) attorneys many times between July 2008 and May 2009.

I brought this to the attention of several of Fox C-6 school board members back in 2009 but none of them were interested in what was really going on in the district. Perhaps hearing what goes on in Section 504 meetings will be very educational for the board, the community as well as other parents across the country. That's also why it's very important that parents document everything including recording their Section 504 meetings because sometimes you just can't believe what will be said during those meetings to get around the law.

Fox's school board policies did not prevent the recording of Section 504 meetings. However, the district's policies stated that you could not record IDEA meetings without prior approval. I just wanted to make sure everyone knows what the policies state.

Filling out Section 504 paperwork is quite easy. However, many districts have been taught that having Section 504's in their district is a bad thing. School districts will go to great lengths to make sure that they don't have to do that "additional paperwork". Because, "It's a slippery slope. Once you give it to one child, you'll have to give it to all children." that are eligible. It's that sort of mentality that causes people to do and say really stupid things. It's also what makes administrators really upset when you persist in making sure that your school district properly follows the law.

So as a parent, would it concern you if a school district doctor wished to hang your child upside down by their ankles for 3 weeks as part of an independent evaluation by your school district?

Would you consider that to be an inappropriate statement to make to a parent during a Section 504 meeting?

I was infuriated by the fact that the district attorney made that remark during our meeting. When I asked former Fox C-6 Section 504 Coordinator Dan Baker about the attorney's statement while I questioned him under oath during our 2010 Due Process Hearing, Mr. Baker stated that the attorney "did not mean those words to come across as intimidation".

It was good that Mr. Baker remembered the district attorney's remarks from our May 2009 meeting because the attorneys comment have bothered me for years. It bothered me even more to learn 5 years later that derogatory and libelous comments directed at me were posted from Dan Baker's home.

Mr. Baker has very little regard for parents concerns when he dismisses a comment such as that and then posted defamatory comments online directed at the parents who he directly worked with at school.

Would Mr. Baker be bothered at all if the school district his children attend wanted to hang his kids upside down to see if they qualified for a Section 504 plan?

Since Mr. Baker was the Section 504 Coordinator for the Fox C-6 School District at the time that defamatory posts were made from his home about me, our school board should be asking to have his teaching certificate revoked by the state of Missouri for conduct unbecoming of an educator. Most parents and taxpayers have been appalled by the fact that the Bakers are still working for the district. At least they removed him from his position as the Section 504 Coordinator for the district.

Why the Bakers weren't fired from the district was even discussed on Donnybrook on KETC Channel 9. I wrote an article about that on July 25, 2014. Here is a link to the article below:

Additionally, everyone including our Fox C-6 school board members should read the article I wrote on March 9, 2013 about having teaching certificates revoked for conduct unbecoming of an educator for bullying and retaliation. Reading that article would be a good refresher on this topic as well. Below is a link to that article:

Back to the attorneys comments made during the May 2009 Section 504 meeting, the attorney emphasized over and over the fact that as parents, we could always revoke our consent if the district decided to perform a test that we didn't want them to do. He also wanted us to know that if we revoked our consent, the 504 meeting would be over and that the 504 process would end here and now. That was his way of threatening us into doing what the school wanted or you lost your rights to a Section 504 plan.

So, if you had to choose between hanging your child upside down by their ankles for 3 weeks or getting a 504 plan, what would you choose?

Yes, it's one of those decisions that you as a parent have to decide when dealing with the Fox C-6 School District as to whether or not you really want to pursue getting that Section 504 plan filled out for your child in the district.

Just in case you ever wish to request a Section 504 plan for your child, you can listen to how it was put to us at the May 2009 Section 504 meeting so you can be better prepared. There's also a little learning about the ADA Amendment Act and Section 504 law at the beginning of this audio clip that's important to hear. I contacted the ED OCR attorney in Kansas City after the meeting about the comments the district attorney made in the meeting that day because his comments about the law were incorrect. When the ED OCR attorney contacted the attorney about his comments, he told the ED OCR attorney that he didn't make those comments during the meeting. That's why you should always record your meetings. I emailed the OCR attorney my audio recording of the district attorney's comments.

Something else that you may take away from the audio above is the attorney's comment about "that's not the way Fox works" in reference to my comments about how other school districts in the area handle things differently than Fox. As the community has now learned, Fox definitely does things differently as we continue to uncovered numerous misdeeds in the district.

Fox probably hasn't hung any kids upside down by their ankles for 3 weeks in order to perform independent evaluations to see if children are eligible for Section 504. But, it might be a good idea to go ahead and ask the state auditors to look into that just to be sure.

Apparently, attorneys will sometimes use some bullying tactics to deter parents from signing consent forms for an independent evaluation. It's just a game that they play to intimidate and/or drag things out in hopes that you will give up and go away.

Hanging kids upside down by their ankles for 3 weeks for independent evaluations would be quite a sight to see at your school. It would be something that you will always remember.

What would it be like to show up to school one day to see students hanging upside down by their ankles with a sign that read, "Fox C-6 Independent Evaluations in progress for the next 3 weeks!"?

For me, the former Fox C-6 School District attorney's comments at our August 2008 meeting were the catalyst that got me looking into the things going on in our district and making sure that what was going on got straightened out. Most parents probably don't want to have their children hung upside down by their ankles for 3 weeks for an independent evaluation. The thought of doing so can get your adrenaline flowing.

Comments made by the district attorney and Fox administrators were also enough motivation for me to run 90 miles on the Katy Trail to the state capitol in Jefferson City, MO in May 2009. I run there to meet with state legislators and to raise awareness and ensure that the Allergy Prevention and Response Bill HB 922 would pass and get signed into law. Plus I needed to burn off a little energy because of the comments being made in our meetings would make any parent mad.

It's ironic that "acting" superintendent Tim Crutchley announced at the October 21, 2014 Fox C-6 school board meeting that Fox had just hosted a Cyber Bullying summit for area schools the day before the board meeting. It's even more ironic when you've been one of the persons cyber bullied by district personnel. I've been getting attacked for the last 4+ years because we asked for a Section 504 plan from our school district.

I can certainly tell you that comments like some of those made during Section 504 meetings by attorneys, administrators, nurses and staff will stick with you for a lifetime! That's why it's so important to audio record your meetings so you can preserve the nonsense that occurs in those meetings. Without documenting what really goes on in those meetings, it's just your word against theirs especially when Fox C-6 school board members don't want to believe that type of behavior is happening in their district.

It only took 6 years for the Fox C-6 district to fire the former law firm and properly provide Section 504 plans for students in the district with medical disabilities. You have to wonder how many parents were put through this type of behavior over the years from a "National District of Character".

There's plenty of proof that it was happening and hearing is believing!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's Time for the Palmers to Step Down!

It's time for current Fox C-6 school board vice-president Dave Palmer to step down from his position on the Fox C-6 school board.

At the October 21, 2014 Fox C-6 school board meeting Mr. Palmer stopped parent and taxpayer Jim Osia from asking Fox's "acting" superintendent Tim Crutchley a question about his recent interview on Fox 2 News with Elliot Davis on a You Paid For It segment regarding the MarzanoGate hotel fiasco.

Fox C-6 taxpayers have the right to ask the superintendent that they "hire" or "fire" questions about their actions in public. Forcing questions into Closed Session is simply a way of hiding things from the public or sweeping them under the rug.

For years the practice has been to tell anyone making Public Comments at a Fox C-6 school board meeting that they needed to "refrain from using individual's names and positions" during their Public Comments.

You can listen to how Public Comments used to be handled at Fox C-6 board meetings prior to Dianne Brown-Critchlow's "paid leave" by clicking on the link below. You will hear former superintendent Dianne Critchlow tell everyone that now is a good time to leave the school board meeting followed by Dr. Rizzi reciting what he was told to say regarding making Public Comments. It was quite convenient for Critchlow to have people leave the board meeting prior to my asking questions of the board.

By not allowing taxpayers to question what their superintendent was doing or others in the Central Office gave the public and the board the impression that things were going as well as Dianne Brown-Critchlow said they were. And, if you questioned things in an email, you would receive responses like I've documented in past articles.

Those on the board that were too naive to believe that former superintendent Dianne Brown-Critchlow could do no wrong never got the chance to hear a Public Comment complaint about her or others because no one was allowed to mention names or positions. No one working for the district was going to speak up at a board meeting due to fear of losing their job. Everyone should know by now what happened to those of us that did speak up at school board meetings over the last several years.

Mr. Palmer is the last of the "old" Fox C-6 school board members. He has served on the Fox C-6 school board since 2002. There was only one year in the last 12 years that Mr. Palmer didn't serve on the board.

Mr. Palmer's actions at the October 2014 Fox C-6 school board meeting of stopping Mr. Osia from asking Mr. Crutchley a question is one of many reasons as to why he should step down.

The Fox C-6 taxpayers are the ones that hire or fire the superintendent. The Fox C-6 board members represent the taxpayers. If a taxpayer has a question regarding what our superintendent or acting superintendent did, then they should be allowed to ask those questions in a public session. The board openly discussed and fired Cheryl Hermann's daughter at a Fox C-6 school board meeting during open session the month before. Therefore Mr. Osia should not have been stopped during his Public Comments.

When you listen to the following introduction to Public Comments by Dr. Rizzi at the October 2014 Fox C-6 school board meeting you will notice that Dr. Rizzi DOES NOT mention that you must "refrain from using individual's names and positions" during your Public Comment. Dr. Rizzi stopped reciting that after Dianne Critchlow began her "paid leave".

Did Mr. Palmer stop Mr. Osia in order to protect the enrichment that his family has received and continues to receive while he has served on the board?

Mr. Palmer was the Fox C-6 school board president in 2006 when then superintendent Dianne Brown promoted Dave Palmer's wife Gee Palmer to the position of director of nursing. Instead of just receiving a stipend for the director of nursing position, Gee Palmer was given a 2 month contract extension and a 75% pay increase!

You will notice on the district's Board of Education page that Mr. Palmer did not serve on the board during the next term following that fiasco. In fact, you need to read the following article that was published on March 13, 2007 in the Jefferson County Suburban Journal on STLTODAY.COM related to Nepotism. Please note that Mr. Palmer could not be reached for comment. This goes along with his November 5, 2013 board workshop comments about not talking to people as a board member because he didn't want to be misquoted.

Gee Palmer only possesses a nursing diploma even though she is the director of nursing. She does not have a bachelors or masters degree in nursing. This makes me question how she can do reviews of nurses in the district that possess more education than she has. It seems very similar to the same issue that we have with Kelly Nash who is our Food Nutrition Director.

When Gee Palmer was promoted to the director of nursing in 2006 there were at least 10 other nurses in the district that had seniority over Gee. So, it makes you question why she was chosen for the job of director of nursing. I have written about the issue of receiving unjust enrichment before about being related to school board members in the following article:

Both Dave Palmer and Gee Palmer need to step down from their positions in the district. I encourage every parent and taxpayer in the district to email the board and Mr. Palmer asking them to step down.

Hopefully the Palmer's will pay back the Fox C-6 taxpayers for the last 8+ years of undeserved income that Gee Palmer earned while she was "Director of Nursing".

As a nurse, Gee Palmer is supposed to advocate for students in the district but that has not been the case. I'd like to know how the opinion of an arrogant nurse who only possesses a nursing diploma could outweigh the opinion of a 20+ year board certified medical doctor. Perhaps the Missouri Association of School Nurses could explain that one for Mrs. Palmer. Or, you may wish to ask assistant superintendent Dan Baker who was Fox's former 504 coordinator since he was ultimately responsible in the decision making process.

Gee Palmer supported the whims of former Fox C-6 superintendent Dianne Brown-Critchlow and the former law firm in their stance against providing students with medical related disabilitiesl with Section 504 plans. Gee Palmer participated with Dan Baker in recording a phone call with a doctor and used the recording during a Due Process Hearing to try and discredit another doctor. I plan to cover more about that in a future article now that students have recently been provided Section 504 plans in the district under the new law firm. The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights was involved in making that change in an Early Complaint Resolution meeting held in August 2014.

It took more than 6 years for the district to 'understand' that they weren't properly following Section 504 law as conveyed to them many times over the last several years by the USDA's Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. Now that things are finally being made public as to what's been going on in the district for years, perhaps the Kansas City Office for Civil Rights will begin working on their District Wide Compliance Review again that was opened in March 2010 and has been sitting idle for the last 4+ years. I'm sure there is a lot that could be discovered now that the district is being more open with their records.

Again, don't forget to email Mr. Palmer and the Fox C-6 school board and ask the Palmers to step down from their positions in the Fox C-6 school district.

Email addresses for the Fox C-6 board members and director of nursing can be found on the district website using the links below:

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Look At Similar Problems Across the Country!

I thought it might be interesting to do some research to see if I could find any other school districts across the country that have had similar problems like we've been experiencing here in the Fox C-6 School District.

It turns out that there are quite a few school districts that have had the same if not similar problems with their administration and school boards. Many of them tend to have very similar themes. Also, many times the abuse of power and wrongdoing had been occurring for many years before the problems were discovered or brought to light.

Reviewing some of these cases will give you an idea of what they looked for and what they uncovered during state audits. It also gives you an idea as to how long it took before they filed charges if they found wrongdoing as well as what the charges were.

For several of the cases, it took between 6 months to a year before an indictment was issued after the findings of the state audit were released. That seems like an eternity knowing that the state audit of the Fox C-6 school district could take up to a year to complete.

One of the best reports I found was a March 2013 video and written audit report posted by the Kentucky state auditor's office of the Dayton Independent School District. The press conference video is an excellent presentation. The case bears many similarities to what's been uncovered so far in our district. I highly recommend watching the entire video. 

The Kentucky state auditor did an excellent job describing what they uncovered during their audit of the Dayton school district. The Dayton superintendent who had been in charge for nearly 15 years bullied and intimidated staff members responsible for issuing checks and reimbursements if they questioned him. The Kentucky state auditor noted during the press conference that there was culture of deceit and entitlement and a lack of transparency and disclosure to both the public and the board.
I certainly hope that Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich and his audit team watch the press conference as well. Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen did an excellent job of informing the taxpayers of what he planned to recover and why it was so important to recover the funds. He stated that they worked with the FBI and forwarded their findings to the Kentucky State Teacher's Retirement System.

The Kentucky state auditor mentions the Hobbs Act which is a U.S. Federal Law enacted in 1946 and is frequently used in cases of public corruption. It's codified in 18 U.S.C. § 1951.

There had only been 139 views of the press conference when I found the video. The number of views will most likely increase as more people learn about it. 

Further down in this article I provide links to more news stories related to the Dayton Independent School District audit and the resulting indictment of the school Superintendent. I also posted links to a couple more cases from other school districts.

Some Common Problems Found In State Audits
Below is a list of some of the problems often discovered during state audits. Fairly often superintendents were found double dipping on mileage and filing false reimbursement requests. They were also found using district credit cards for personal purchases. Do any of those problems sound familiar?
  • Lack of transparency and disclosure to both the public and the board
  • Salary compensations not matching board approved contracts
  • Sometimes there were cultures of deception that misled board and or finance department
  • Intimidation or bullying staff members responsible for issuing checks and reimbursements
  • Lack of oversight by the school board or finance departments
  • District credit cards were used to purchase meals and items for personal use
  • Lavish "Professional Development" trips
  • Use of school funds / public money for personal use
  • Fraudulent reimbursement requests made for purchases or expenses
  • Requesting reimbursements for mileage and gas or double dipping
  • School boards "rubber stamping" expenses and payments

Example Cases From Across the Country
Below are a few examples of cases found across the country using Google searching with the following keywords: superintendent indictment

Dayton Independent School District
A small school district in Kentucky near Cincinnati was audited and found to have problems. The results of the audit were turned over to the FBI as well as the Kentucky State Teachers Retirement System. It was the school district's new superintendent that appears to have reported the problem after finding financial irregularities when he took over after the former superintendent retired.

Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen said that the abuse was personally offensive to him and would offend every Kentuckian. He stated that there was a culture of deceit and entitlement. He said the rank and file staff at Dayton were frightened to do the right thing. It was a culture in which you could be punished for doing the right thing. (23:30)

The former Dayton superintendent received $224,000 in benefits and payments over an eight-year period that was not authorized by the school board or obtained from false reimbursements or fraud.

Plans To Recoup Taxpayer Dollars
Listen to what the Dayton school district plans to do to recoup taxpayer dollars at 27:15 in the video. Below is the 3 fold method that the Dayton school district planned to follow in order to recover their funds:
  • Pursue a claim directly against the former superintendent.
  • Pursue a claim against the independent auditor under their professional negligence.
  • Pursue claims against the insurance company who insures the district against employee theft.
Listen to the last 10 seconds of the press conference to hear what the Kentucky State Auditor says about being a "taxpayer watchdog".
The state auditor commented that the former superintendent intimidated staff members responsible for issuing checks if they questioned him. The auditor stated that you cannot police power when you are subservient to those who have the power. The auditor stated that they never had a chance of meaningful oversight of the superintendent who was committed to enriching himself at public expense.

In November 2013, a press release was issued for the Dayton Independent School District stating that $511,000 in taxpayer dollars would be recovered by the school district.

In December 2013, the former Dayton superintendent of schools pleaded guilty to embezzlement. on May 14, 2014 the former Dayton superintendent was sentenced to 2 years in federal prison.

Mason County Kentucky
In Mason County Kentucky, their superintendent of schools was indicted following the release of an October 2012 state audit report of the school district. The findings released in the report resulted in the superintendent's retirement in October 2012. He had served the school district since 1997. The news story below reports that the abuse of the public trust in Kentucky is a class C felony, punishable by 5-10 years imprisonment if convicted.

The Mason County report found nearly $200,000 in expenditures made by the superintendent, six district employees and five board members that appeared to be excessive, lacked supporting documentation or had no clear business purpose or did not go through the district's approval process.

Cincinnati Superintendent and Treasurer Indicted
The Ohio state auditor started investigating the superintendent after an anonymous tip was sent to the state auditor's office in 2006 about credit card abuse. The tip lead to an investigation regarding non-school related expenses and employee compensations to see if they matched board approved amounts.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Seckman Pom Squad Asks To Stay at Hard Rock Hotel in 2015

The Seckman High School Pom Squad is asking the Fox C-6 school board for permission to attend the 2015 National Dance Competition in Orland Florida and stay at the Hard Rock Hotel. Yes. It's the same hotel that our administrators stayed at in June 2013 during the MarzanoGate Conference. At least the pom squad asked for permission to do so.

Please download and review the October 2014 Fox C-6 School Board Meeting Packet from the district website ahead of next week's meeting on Tuesday October 21, 2014.

The board packet is the same information that is provided to the school board members to review each month prior to school board meetings. Nowadays, the board packets are made available to the board a week before the meeting. The board packets used to be provided to the board members on the Friday before the meeting.

Some information is still provided to the board the night of the meeting in their Late Materials.

One item you'll notice in this month's board packet is a request for permission from the school board to allow the Seckman Pom Squad to attend the National Dance Competition at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlanda Florida.

In 2013, former Fox C-6 Superintendent Dianne Critchlow told then Assistant Superintendent Tim Crutchley that if the pom squad could stay at the Hard Rock Hotel then the staff could stay there too. That's why they upgraded from the $99 per night DoubleTree Hotel to the $350 to $550 per night Hard Rock Hotel for the June 2013 Marzano Conference in Orlando Florida.

The difference here is that I don't recall seeing any requests in board packets from former superintendent Dianne Critchlow asking the school board for their permission to take trips to their training conferences like each of the school teams and groups are required to do.

Use the link below to review the October 2014 Fox C-6 board meeting packet. On page 208 you will find the Seckman pom squad asking for permission to travel to the 2015 National Dance Competition to be held in Orlando Florida in March 2015.

If the direct link to the board packet below doesn't work then use the link to the Board Packet folder for 2014-2015 and click on the October 21, 2014 board packet document.

Perhaps it was much easier to take luxurious trips to conferences and hope that no one found out rather than ask the board for permission ahead of time. When your district has $600,000 in training funds to use, you have to spend it somewhere.

And if your high school pom squad can stay at the more expensive hotel then so can your staff. Let's not forget the fact that the conference hotel at the DoubleTree was only $99 a night and was first booked for the 2013 Marzano Conference. It's just that the DoubleTree Hotel didn't advertise that you could Live Like a Rock Star!

Attend the Next Board Meeting
Plan to attend the Tuesday October 21, 2014 Fox C-6 school board meeting so you can ask your school board questions about what's been happening in our school district.

You might want to ask them about the recent statements in the Letters to the Editor section of this week's Leader newspaper. Several people wanted to know why former Fox C-6 superintendent Dianne Critchlow hasn't already been arrested for stealing and fraud.

You may also want to read Patrick Martin's Editorial page as well comparing former Fox C-6 superintendent Dianne Critchlow's departure to former Fox C-6 superintendent Diane Bourisaw's departure from the district.

It's somewhat strange how the Leader has turned from supporting Diane Brown-Critchlow to finally noticing and publishing that there was a problem with the leadership in the Fox C-6 district. Some of my Letters to the Editor never got published in the past regarding my "concerns in the district" as Dianne Critchlow liked to document them in the board meeting minutes.

I sent an email to Patrick Martin and Kim Robertson in February 2011 regarding the online posts that were being made on Topix. My email was brushed off in an editorial as online name calling. It was much more than simple name calling that was linked back to the Critchlow's home.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Paper Trail Keeps Growing!

It's evident from the small amount of information that's been uncovered so far that every single credit card purchase made by several of Fox C-6's administrators on their district credit cards will have to be reviewed and scrutinized. The charges placed on the Discover card of other district employees will have to be reviewed as well. It's well documented that Dianne Critchlow used other district cards for purchase as well.

It's not just enough to look at a single charge from a hotel. Each of the charges on the hotel bill itself must be scrutinized as well. The Hard Rock Hotel invoices have charges for restaurants, ice cream, hot dogs and parking charged to their rooms.

You can review the charges from the Hard Rock Hotel invoices from the June 2013 Marzano Conference in Orlando using the link below. None of the meal charges and parking fees were documented in the Leader or on the recent You Paid For It! news story:

Federal Dollars For Professional Development
Title II Professional Development Funds can be used as "incentives" to train and recruit high quality teachers and principals. Fox used the "incentive" funds for fun getaways and everyday meals. Those seem like great incentives.

Professional development is how many of the charges were explained and we've been told there are explanations for every charge!

Just because there are explanations doesn't necessarily make them valid. I've been searching and reading documents concerning allowable and unallowable uses of Title II Professional Development funds. Food could be an incentive. But, I'm not sure that it truly qualifies as Professional Development when eating at McDonald's.

You can read more about Title II and Professional Development subgrants from the U.S Department of Education here:

More Demands for Repayment
Last Friday I was emailed a copies of more Demand for Repayment letters that were sent to former Fox C-6 superintendent Dianne Critchlow. One of them had a copy of a receipt from McDonald's for lunch that was purchased on Saturday April 5, 2014 while she was on Family Medical Leave. The McDonald's receipt was documented as Professional Development.

The demand letter from Fox's CFO had the following comment regarding the McDonald's receipt:

District records indicate that you were on FMLA during that timeframe. So, on a Saturday while you were on FMLA you supposedly engaged in a professional development activity that justified the purchase of food from McDonald's at District expense. Frankly, there is nothing believable about that scenario.

The above comment sums up a lot of what's been done and said by Dianne Critchlow while she was superintendent of Fox C-6. Many things were not believable. There is plenty of documentation to back that up.

Every Credit Card Charge Must Be Reviewed
Because Critchlow shattered the trust of the taxpayers, we must look at each and every purchase to determine how much taxpayer dollars were used for her own personal use. Just looking at the April 2014 VISA statement included in the demand letter above, there are multiple charges that are questionable.

Why would Critchlow be shopping at Hobby Lobby with her District credit card while on FMLA?

I don't have the exact dates for her FMLA but it was only 2 days before the McDonald's meal which was documented as being purchased while she was on FMLA.

Critchlow went shopping at the South County Wireless Freedom store the day before she ate at McDonald's. What did she purchase there? Was it more cellular phone cases or spare batteries? We'll need to see that receipt as well.

Then you have to wonder what she purchased at Hobby Lobby and Walmart for more than $240+ dollars that were used for school. What are on those receipts?

Those purchases are similar to the ones at Target in December 2011 when she purchased the Nikon 1 digital camera, spare lens, battery and memory cards right before her daughter's wedding. There's really no telling as to how much taxpayer dollars were spent on personal use items.

The charges listed below are the charges that were listed on Dianne Critchlow's April 21, 2014 VISA card statement:
  • 04/03/2014 - Hobby Lobby        - $89.14 (For what?)
  • 04/04/2014 - Wireless Freedom - $79.19 (cell phone cases/batteries?)
  • 04/05/2014 - Shell Oil                - $85.06  (Yukon has a 31 gallontank)
  • 04/05/2014 - McDonald's           - $11.79 (Professional Development?)
  • 04/11/2014 - Walmart                - $152.00 (Gift cards?)
  • 04/14/2014 - Panera Bread        - $31.19 (More PDC?)
  • 04/17/2014 - Shell Oil               - $45.37
Critchlow didn't make that many purchases on her district VISA card in April 2014 compared to other months. But, every receipt must be reviewed and scrutinized because trust has been lost and everything must be questioned.

Critchlow was quoted as saying that she welcomed an audit. Perhaps she thought a State Audit would be similar to a Dan Jones & Associates audit which just samples some data to see if things look OK. This State Audit report should be an eye opener compared to the 2002 audit.

Critchlow had already been informed by her Internet Service Provider in April 2014 that her name and address was being provided due to a law suit for libelous and derogatory comments that had been linked to computers in her home.

Everyone seems to be amazed as to how bold Critchlow was in her spending of taxpayer dollars for personal use. You get the impression that she thought that no one would ever see or review the credit card statements. She certainly wasn't supplying the credit card statements to the school board as required by District policy. She tried to charge me $170 to get copies of them per my April 2014 Sunshine Request knowing that I wouldn't pay for data that should have already been provided to the school board for free.

Have you found yourself shaking your head side to side lately in disbelief?

I think almost everyone has. Just watch someone when they start reading an article in the paper or on this blog or on the news to see if they do what so many have been doing lately of shaking their head in disbelief.

For more unbelievable information, check out Dianne Critchlow's orders that she had shipped directly to her house. The receipts are listed in the demand letter below:

Below is a copy of the Demand for Repayment Letter sent to Dianne Critchlow for the After Football Game Party she threw for Administrators and charged to Professional Development:

It's going to take a long time to go through all of the receipts and recoup taxpayer money. What a waste of time!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fox C-6 On You Paid For It! Again - New Sunshine Request Sent to Fox C-6 - Updated 10/14/14!

After watching last night's Fox 2 News You Paid For It story about the MarzanoGate Conference from June 2013 I emailed a new request to the district requesting electronic copies of all receipts as well as any letters sent out and invoices sent to Dianne Critchlow that were associated with the Marzano Conference. The You Paid For It! news story hasn't been posted to the website yet but I will link to it when it becomes available.

It appeared from the news story that Dianne Critchlow is blaming Tim Crutchley and the school board for allowing Tim Crutchley to book the expensive rooms at the Hard Rock Hotel in June 2013 at the Marzano Conference.

It was stated during the news story by Critchlow's attorney that the board was blindly approving charges. Dianne Critchlow should know that it's difficult to approve individual credit card charges if the credit card statements aren't provided to the school board members in their board packets each month.

When asked to provide the credit charges in the board packets, my request was ignored. It would appear that Critchlow didn't want to provide the credit card statements to the board since they weren't provided to them while she was superintendent.

Critchlow also asked that I be charged $170 to obtain the credit card statements for the 2013-2014 school year when I made a Sunshine request for them in April 2013. The credit card statement should have been public record and should have already been provided to the school board each month but they weren't.

Pausing the video from the news story showed an email from Fox CFO John Brazeal dated October 3, 2014 that was addressed to: To Whom It May Concern. While reading the letter on the TV I noticed there was a comment from Dianne Critchlow to Tim Crutchley about booking the rooms at the Hard Rock Hotel. Below you'll find a copy of the email that was displayed during the news story that I typed in from the video on Friday October 10, 2014.

After I posted this article and made another Sunshine Request for the letter below I received a copy of the letter and documents from Fox's CFO Friday morning October 10, 2014. The "To Whom It May Concern" letter contained Marzano Conference related lodging receipts and hotel reservations. It did not contain any receipts for any of the non-room related meals or the car rental receipts.

The Fox 2 News You Paid For It story and the October 9, 2014 Leader article didn't point out the charges for Value Parking, Self Parking and Meals that were charged to the hotel rooms during the conference as documented below.

To Whom It May Concern Letter
In reviewing the To Whom It May Concern letter and receipts, you will notice the following:

  • The original reservations for 7 people at the DoubleTree conference hotel for $99 per night made on January 11, 2013 (Exhibits A-1 & A-2).
  • Registration confirmation for the Marzano conference ($4100) Jan 11, 2013. (A-3)
  • The reservations for the Hard Rock Hotel made on February 26, 2013. (B-1, B-2, C-1 & C-2)
  • The Hard Rock Hotel Orlando Invoices (Exhibits D-1 through D-6)
  • Dianne and Jamie Critchlow paid for meals and Valet Parking on their room tab (D-1)
    • Valet Parkin - $25 / day
    • Emack & Bolio - $26.52
    • Beach Club - $145.78
    • The Kitchen - $49.54
    • Beach Club - $162.12
  • Tim Crutchley and Kristen Pelster paid for a meal on their room tab. (D-2)
    • The Kitchen - $99.07
    • Self Parking Fees of $18 / day
  • Dan and Angie Baker had charges for a meal and the Minibar on their room tab. (D-3)
    • The Kitchen - $95.07
    • Minibar - $16.90
  • Stacy Dockery and her spouse charged food to their room tab. (D-4)
    • Expo Hot Dog - $6.05
    • NASCAR Sports Grille - $41.78
  • Andy Arbeitman and his spouse charged self parking to their room tab. (D-5)
    • Self Parking - $18 / day
  • Jeremy Donald and his wife charged a meal to their room tab. (D-6)
    • The Kitchen - $45.54

DATE:  October 3, 2014
TO:       To Whom It May Concern 
FROM: John Brazeal, CFO 
RE:       Lodging costs at Marzano Conference - Orlando, Florida - June 2013
Public school districts are issued federal program Title II money for the purpose of providing professional development for educators. Unspent Title II money typically rolls over from one fiscal year to the next. Apparently by December 2012, Fox School District had an accumulation of unspent Title II money in excess of $600,00. In early 2013, an effort began to spend down the accumulation of professional development funds. 
In response to this situation, then superintendent Dianne Critchlow apparently identified several school related conferences scheduled to take place during 2013 and also identified various staff to attend the conferences. One of these conferences was the Marzano conference scheduled during June 2013 in Orlando, Florida. 
Requests for information about the conference have been received with a focus on the lodging costs. The remainder of this memo will outline the sequence of events, trip participants and lodging costs for the conference. 
On or about 1/11/2013, it appears 7 hotel rooms were reserved at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel at the entrance to Universal Orlando. See Exhibit A. The reservations were made for 4 nights each (6/18/2103 - 6/22/2013) at a nightly rate of $99 per night plus taxes. The names on the reservation were: 
Apparently, the DoubleTree reservations were later cancelled, because in February 2013 new reservations are made at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando.

According to Tim Crutchley, Dianne Critchlow requested that he make reservations at the Hard Rock Hotel. Upon researching the cost and informing Dianne Critchlow, he was told that if the Pom squad could stay at the hotel, so could staff. He was instructed to make the reservations.

On 2/26/2013, 4 rooms were reserved at the Loews Hotels Hard Rock. The rooms were reserved for 4 nights each, arriving 6/18/2013, departing 6/22/2013. A one night deposit (rate plus tax) was charged to Discover credit card assign to Deborah Davis. The hotel weekday rate applied to the first three nights, while the higher weekend rate applied to the fourth night. The tax rate is 12.5%.

The room reserved for Dianne is listed as a "King Suite with Garden 2 Queen and Garden King". The before tax room rate for the first 3 nights was $1,095.30 per night, and the rate for the fourth night was $1,162.80. A room deposit of $1,232.21 was charged to the credit card representing 1 night at $1,095.30 plus tax of $136.91. See Exhibit B. (Note: Apparently this reservation...

Below is a link to the Fox 2 News You Paid For It news story:

The saga continues....

Thursday, October 9, 2014

More Fox C-6 Credit Card Data! 2012-2013 DISCOVER Card Statements

I've been waiting weeks for the 2012-2013 DISCOVER card statements and prior years. I was especially looking forward to reviewing the June 2013 statement. It had the hotel charges for the MarzanoGate Conference. You know, the conference that was more like an all expenses paid luxury vacation for 6 couples from the Fox C-6 school district rather than a Professional Development Conference!

The MarzanoGate Conference was the one that Dianne Critchlow offered to pay for meals for spouses even though they weren't employed by the district. Fox's newest but not yet employed Assistant Superintendent Andy J Arbeitman was invited to go to the conference by Dianne Critchlow even though he hadn't officially started working for the district yet.

The DISCOVER card statements were scanned in color at high resolution and sent to me the other day so the file size is over 70MB at the moment. I then scanned them using PDF-XChange Viewer to run Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software built into PDF-XChange viewer in order to make them text searchable in a PDF viewer. I will work on exporting the pages to black and white at a lower resolution to shrink the file for slower internet connections. To make the statements easier to read, I assembled the individual statements into a single file and posted them online.

After I received the statements I noticed a few unusual charges and asked Fox's CFO about them. One of them was for a BALANCE TRANSFER of -$502.50 on 04/05/2013 and a $502.50 charge to MACY'S EAST #0054 LANGHOME PA on 03/25/2013 which appeared to be related. At first glance this appeared to me a charge had mistakenly been made on a school DISCOVER card for a purchase at MACY'S and the amount was later corrected using a BALANCE TRANSFER.

It was explained to me in an email from Fox's CFO that Jerome K's credit card had been compromised and that a new card was issued and a BALANCE TRANSFER was done to correct the charge. Brazeal said it seemed odd to him as to how it was corrected.

I found it odd as well that a BALANCE TRANSFER was made by DISCOVER to correct a compromised card rather than issuing a CREDIT as was done by VISA when Dan Baker's VISA card was compromised and charges were made at a Colorado WALMART store. Ultimately the MACY'S charge for $502.50 was corrected and the school did not have to pay for the charge.

There was also a mistaken charge made by former Fox C-6 CFO Jim Berblinger for $20 on 05/16/2013 to MERCY CLINIC SURG SPEC CREVE COEUR MO which was repaid to the district by Mr. Berblinger.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Taxpayer Money Used to Pay For After Football Game Party! - Updated 10/14/2014!

It's going to take quite a while for the district and the auditors to dig through all of the credit card payments and check payments that were spent on things as an after football game party for administrators at Dianne Critchlow's home and order $606 worth of food from Qdoba Mexican Grill. Then there's still the ongoing research into the luxurious vacations conferences where Fox C-6 administrators and some of their spouses went for Professional Development. We still don't know if anyone actually attended the conference or if registrations fees were paid. We know that 4 of them played golf on the first day of the conference.

We've now learned that Critchlow is being asked to reimburse the district for a meal she purchased on a Saturday at McDonald's while she was on Family Medical Leave on April 5, 2014.

Hopefully it doesn't bother you that your tax dollars were being used to pay for some of these parties, trips and meals. Surely, Critchlow was thinking about our kids while she was working on her Professional Development during these parties and conferences.

And then there was the infamous charges for the logging tongs and other logging equipment. Please notice that Dianne Critchlow had those items shipped directly to her home.

The demand letter from Fox's CFO has the following language which most will find quite humorous:
The District is aware that some of the items in the order have recently been transferred to District possession. Upon receipt of your payment those items will be returned for your personal use and enjoyment.
Below is a copy of the October 3, 2014 Demand for Repayment letter to Dianne Critchlow for the items.

Former Fox superintendent Dianne Brown always told me that "we put our money in the classroom". I guess that would be whatever money might be left over after paying $550 a night for a room at an educational conference at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando Florida. She could have gotten the conference rate of $99 per night at the DoubleTree Universal Hotel that hosted the conference and where they were originally booked to stay.

However, Dianne had so much professional development money left over that she opted to pay for the more expensive rooms where she and other Fox admins  and their spouses could "Live Like a Rock Star" as they say at the Hard Rock Hotel.

I wonder how many books she could have purchased for our kids in the district for each night that was doled out at the Hard Rock Hotel?

Speaking of books, Dianne and all of the other Fox admins that attended the Marzano Conference could have purchased the book I purchased a couple of years ago for less than $15. It was written by Richard Dufour and Robert J. Marzano. I bought it to learn a little more about what our administrators are supposed to be doing. The Marzano name probably looks familiar.

Every educator in the district could have purchased a copy with Professional Development funds for less than it cost to send 12 people to the golf outing Marzano conference in Orlando.

Many parents and taxpayers are probably starting to doubt Dianne's comments about "putting our money in the classroom" or that she was doing it "for the kids". It seems more like she was living the life of royalty in a district that has more than 30% of our students receiving FREE or REDUCED lunch. It's no wonder kids want to be school superintendents when they grow up. They see how much money our superintendent makes and how she gets to use taxpayer dollars to fund business startups and parties at her home. Who wouldn't want to be a school superintendent!

It turns out that Dianne even submitted a request for reimbursement for a golf tournament that she allegedly didn't even pay for. Fox's Chief Financial Officer states that doing so is fraud.

Perhaps Dianne never found the time to read the two 3 inch binders she told me she had in her office that held Fox's Policies and Regulations. There's a section about Fraud and Fraud Prevention in our district Policies and Regulations.

You can read all about this week's financial discoveries surrounding Dianne Critchlow and the Fox C-6 School District in the this weeks Arnold-Imperial Leader.

The article states that Dianne Critchlow couldn't be reached for comment.

Surely Dianne has explanations for all of the charges and would want to share them with the community!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Quote From 2013 - "We're Not Hiding Anything!"

While searching for information from some of my older articles, I ran into the following article from March 2013. This was during the scandal of hiring former board member and board president at the time, Linda Nash's daughter in law, as Fox's Food Nutrition Director. Amongst all of that fiasco, Fox finally started posting the board packets on the district website for the community to download and review. This hadn't been done in the past even though I had been asking for them for almost 2 years. The board packets contained the bill payments that were approved by the board each month.

The first time I attended a school board meeting was in December 2010. As I watched the meeting unfold, I wondered how the school board was able to approve the bill payments without having any time to look at the bills. Especially if they just received some of the bill payments in their Late Materials at the board meeting that night.

I found out later that typically the board packets were sent to the board members the Friday before the board meeting for them to review. It included the bill payments for the month that they were going to vote to approve at the meeting the following Tuesday. However, not all of the bill payments are sent to them before the meeting. Typically there would be another round of bill payments that are presented to the board when they arrive at the meeting that night. There's really no time to for board members to review all of those payments right there at the start of the meeting. Therefore, the board is having to approve payments blindly because the information is provided to them just before the meeting.

Depending on what checks are slated in the early bill payment presented ahead of time verses what's presented at the meeting makes it pretty easy to pass off expenses that someone may not want the board to scrutinize as much. This is especially a concern after when your superintendent tells you "We're Not Hiding Anything!". That's what prompted the article I wrote in March 2013. You have to read the article to see what I'm talking about with regards to the bill payments.

Board member John Laughlin began going to the school to review bill payments after I brought up this issue a couple of years ago when I was getting charged for board packets. John also made sure that I no longer got charged for obtaining the board packets after he found out I was getting charged.

It's easy for everyone to criticize the board as a whole. But, there were 7 old school board members until John Laughlin was elected in 2011. There's no telling what Critchlow told the the newest "outside" member of the board that things were great and there's no need to question things. I'm sure that my questioning of things was easily dismissed by Critchlow. She had been doing that for years at board meetings during my Public Comments and in her email responses to myself and the board. As she recently was quoted, "Trust me".

Board Packets Posted Online - NO Bill Payments
Finally after nearly two years, the district started posting board packets on the district website but they left the bill payments out of the packets. Why did they leave out the bill payments? That was the whole point of posting the board packets in the first place. I had to pay obtain the board packets per my Sunshine requests prior to the district posting them online for free. However, the district only provided me with the board packets dating back to April 2010. The district wanted to charge me hundreds of dollars to go and research and copy the board packets prior to that date. Charging lots of money for documents is an easy way to deter someone from obtaining the information and should always throw up red flags.

Critchlow wanted to charge me $170 for the credit card statements for the 2013-2014 school year. This was her way of keeping the statements from the public. The same thing was done for the board packets prior to April 2010. Since then I even asked several times for those prior board packets to be posted to the district website and Critchlow refused. I think the community should press to get those documents posted on the district website knowing what we know now.

Prior to the April 2010 date there was most likely quite a bit spent on attorney fees with all of the time and money the district put into preparing for a Due Process Hearing that was held in May 2010. I've made a recent Sunshine request for copies of all of the invoices from the former law firm dating back to 2008. When I first requested this information a couple of years ago it was going to cost several hundred dollars to obtain. Just remember that Critchlow wasn't trying to hide anything.

Check out the article below and read the response from former board member Ruth Ann Newman as to why the district didn't publish the bill payments when the district first published the board packets on the district website in 2013. I have the exchange of emails with the board and the responses I received.

It's hard to believe Dianne Critchlow's statement of "We're Not Hiding Anything!". It's especially hard to believe after reviewing the credit card statements and finding out that she had district purchased property at her home and had to be asked to return it.

Critchlow never openly provided the credit card statements to the school board. She just asked the board to approve the charges as a whole each month by asking the board to approve the bill payments that included checks to the credit card companies. The board shouldn't have had to ask to obtain the credit card statements. Critchlow as the superintendent should have been providing them to the board each month per school board policy like they do in many other school districts.

On the flip side, our school board should have asked to see the credit card statements since many of the statements totaled between $50,000 and $300,000 or more each month. The words Due Diligence comes to mind.

It's going to take quite a while for the auditors and the district to dig through all of the charges and receipts to find out what was purchased and paid for by the district that the district might not have in it's possession. More things might still be at Critchlow's house. It was something that was easily done.

I certainly hope that the district and the state audit reviews all of the charges dating back to 2005 when Critchlow started as superintendent. We need to recover as much taxpayer money as possible.

Read the article from 2013 by clicking on the link below to see if you think former superintendent Dianne Critchlow wasn't trying to hide anything back then.

Fox C-6 Superintendent Says: "We're Not Hiding Anything!"

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Critchlow Getting Invoiced for Money She Owes the District - UPDATED: 10/03/2014

This week's Arnold-Imperial Leader is reporting that former Fox C-6 superintendent Dianne Critchlow is getting invoiced by the district for money that she improperly charged the district. If the community wasn't already mad enough about the fact that she was purchasing meals and personal items using her district credit card, we now learn that she was double dipping. She was getting reimbursed for personal miles while driving a district owned Chevy Tahoe and filling the tank of the Tahoe using her district credit card while raking in more than $260,000 in salary.

It's really hard sometimes to even come up with the words to write after uncovering or learning about all of the things that we have so far about the misdeeds and dishonest things former superintendent Dianne Critchlow did while "leading" the district. She took advantage of the system in just about every possible way she could.

It's obvious that she used intimidation and fear to keep anyone from reporting what was going on inside the district. If you discovered things and you weren't an employee of the district, she sent you Cease and Desist letters to try and stop you from publicly exposing her misdeeds and shedding light on the problems and cover ups by the district. Her deception and obfuscation worked well in hiding the money that she was collecting both in salary and for items she was purchasing for personal use with her district credit card.

It was also reported in the Arnold-Imperial Leader that Critchlow had the district reimburse her for eye glasses even though the district was already paying for her vision insurance. It was like a FREE RIDE using taxpayer dollars.

UPDATED: 10/03/2014
Demand Letters to Critchlow for Repayment

What little trust anyone had for her should be completely shattered by now. Facts are being uncovered that are irrefutable and indefensible. People can't even make up some of the things she has done because so many of them are so egregious that they are just too incredible to conceive. As a person who was touting on almost every single document sent out by the district and on banners throughout the district how Fox was a National District of Character, she was far from being representative of a person of character.

I commend all of the teachers, staff, volunteers and administrators who have had to put up with the abuse and intimidation that everyone has put up with for the past 9+ years under our former superintendent's reign of fear. I've been told so many stories in the last couple of months and I'm sure that I will hear many more in the years to come as to what went on behind closed doors was kept from being discussed in public through fear and intimidation.

I certainly hope that morale continues to improve as new leadership gets hired and policies protecting employees are put in place. Bad behavior should result in eventual dismissals or demotions and hopefully fear won't be a factor anymore.

In order for an organization like our school district to truly succeed and excel, there must be that feeling of trust that everyone will always do the right thing and will always take the high road no matter what. You can't have people fearing for their jobs or fearing for their safety. They must be able to trust their supervisors, administrators and coworkers to do the right thing.

There must also be a mutual level of respect for everyone in the organization and outside the organization with the community in order to succeed. Otherwise, it will just be a job for many and students, staff and the community will suffer as a whole.

Our district has a lot of great teachers and staff and despite the lack of respect that they have received from Central Office administrators over the years, they have still gone above and beyond expectations and do what's best for the kids. I would like to say thank you for doing what you do every day despite what you've been through for the past 9+ years. I can see that things are improving albeit not as fast as everyone would like. We know it's going to take time and that there will be many challenges ahead that we will have to overcome and we will overcome them.

It's been very rewarding to hear from so many people who work or have worked in our district tell me that they are so glad that things have finally been exposed and brought to the public's attention. They say that many people have known for a long time but were afraid to speak for fear of retaliation.

I've also been told by many in the district that the start of this school year has been one of the best that they've had in years and that morale has improved quite a bit and that's a good thing!

Hearing those types of comments lets me know that all of my work was worthwhile and that I wasn't wasting my time as some may have wanted you to believe. I won't name any names but I'm sure you might know a few people who didn't want anyone to know about what was getting documented on this blog. <g>

I'm glad I could help and I'm glad that many people are now aware of what's been going on. Societal pressure is what's needed in order to maintain a certain level of trust. Most people expect people to always do the right thing but that doesn't always happen as we've learned here at Fox.

Going forward we need to learn by our mistakes of overly trusting those in charge to do the right thing and not listening to those that speak up and try to bring issues to everyone's attention.

There were many times when I felt like I was working on a huge thesis on how school systems should function as demonstrated by other districts and at the same time documenting how badly a district can behave because there was no pressure or oversight to do the right thing. After several years of not getting anywhere you begin to wonder if things will every change. Now we know it can. It just takes lots of perseverance and motivation. It was a lot like running a marathon but a LOT longer. It was probably more like running the 90 miles to Jefferson City on the Katy Trail but over and over again as the years went by.

As we move forward we need to remember and document what happened so we can put measures in place to keep this sort of thing from happening again in the future. We don't want to go down this road again.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Waiting for Information!

    I've made quite a few Sunshine requests and submitted questions to the district over the last several weeks in an effort to get the public the information everyone's been asking about. They want to know what's been going on in the district for the last decade.

    I realize that the audit started last week so the accounting staff and CFO are probably very busy looking up information for the auditors.

    For years there was very little information flow to the public outside of the school board meeting minutes. The board meeting minutes contained very little information especially with regard to Public Comments. So nearly everyone was kept in the dark about what was actually occurring in the district.

    As soon as I get the information I'll get it posted. Some of the information I've requested is:

  • Credit card statements for Discover, VISA and American Express dating back to the 2005-2006 school year. I've been waiting for the Discover card statements for several weeks. The Discover cards for both the board secretary and the central office custodian were used often by former Fox C-6 superintendent Dianne Critchlow.
  • Receipts for purchases made by former superintendent Dianne Brown-Critchlow using her district credit cards. This request had already been made by her attorney.
  • More information regarding the Orlando trip such as how many cars were rented for the 3 day conference. $1700+ dollars in car rental fees is a lot of money for a 3 day conference.
  • Information about the Flip Flippen training. The district paid $10,000 at the start of the 2013-2014 school year for an hour long keynote address. When I asked about it at the August 2013 school board meeting assistant superintendent Andy Arbeitman told me that 9 administrators were able to attend Flip Flippen training for FREE for that $10,000 hour long keynote address. So I've asked questions as to who attended the training. The district ended up spending more than $62,000 with the Flip Flippen training company in 2013-2014.
  • Who attended the trips to Rochester, NY, Kansas City, MO and Washington, D.C.?
  • How much was the stipend amount was that was paid to previous head nurses in the district compared to the 75% pay raise that Gee Palmer received when she was promoted to district head nurse in June 2006?
  • Salary information for our district head nurse. When Fox's current district head nurse Gee Palmer was  promoted to the district head nurse position she was given a 75% pay raise in June 2006. Gee Palmer is the wife of current Fox C-6 school board vice-president Dave Palmer. Mr. Palmer was the board president in June 2006 when his wife was promoted by Dianne Brown to the district head nurse position.
  • All invoices from the district's former law firm dating back to the 2008-2009 school year. This was the law firm that sent out the Cease and Desist letters to myself and others. We don't know how many may have been sent over the years but we know of at least 4 of them.

For your information, per Missouri Sunshine Law, anyone can go to the Fox C-6 Central Office during normal business hours and request to view documents such as board meeting minutes, board packets, invoices, etc.

Hopefully I'll receive the credit card data soon so I can get that information posted for the public. Everyone is very curious as to how far back all of this spending without oversight has gone on.

It was stated on the news recently in a Fox 2 News You Paid For It report that the board approved all of Critchlow's credit card charges. The payments to the credit card companies may have been approved. But the individual charges weren't approved by the board since the credit card statements weren't being provided to them in their board packets. It was the board's responsibility to be checking the charges but they weren't being provided that information. It was the superintendent's job to ensure that charges were being properly made by employees in the district prior to asking the board to approve the payments.

I had asked Critchlow to provide the credit card statements in the board packets to the board members and she did not. However, after reviewing the credit card statements it's pretty easy to see why Critchlow didn't want the school board members to see them.

Hopefully more data will be made available soon so it can be shared with the community. 

Transparency is what allows people to trust an organization such as your school district which everyone has trusted for years but has now learned that it was a big mistake to trust as much as we did.

Here's a really good book about trust that I recommend. It's called Liars and Outliers. It explains how trust is needed in order for an organization to thrive and succeed. If there is no trust, the organization will wither and die. It also explains how societal pressure is needed to ensure that people do follow the rules and do the right thing.