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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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 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.
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.
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: