Sunday, November 2, 2014

Critchlow Mentioned Amazon Charges at the May 2014 Fox C-6 BOE Meeting! Hiding Facts!

It's definitely not funny that former Fox C-6 superintendent Dianne Critchlow was using her district credit card and other district employee credit cards to make purchases for personal use. But I did find it funny that she mentioned the Amazon charges at the May 2014 Fox C-6 Board of Education meeting when she responded to my Public Comments.

I was reviewing my audio recordings from Fox C-6 school board meetings looking for examples of when Critchlow would tell everyone at the board meeting that now was a good time to leave. She would say it right before Public Comments started when I made Public Comments.

May 20, 2014 was the last Fox C-6 Board of Education (BOE) meeting that Dianne Critchlow attended. Right before I spoke at that meeting, Critchlow told the parents and students in attendance for recognition that now was a good time to leave as happened many times before right before the start of Public Comments.

The May 20th meeting was also the last meeting before the media announced that defamatory comments posted on the TOPIX website were linked to her home and the home of assistant superintendent Dan Baker.

At the May BOE meeting, Dianne Critchlow and Dan Baker were both already aware of the fact that their homes had been linked to defamatory posts made on Topix. Their Internet Service Providers (ISP) had already contacted them in March or April asking them if they could give out their information because of a subpoena. So they both knew at that meeting and even at the workshop before that they had been linked to posts on TOPIX. That may be why they were fairly friendly at the meeting.

At the May meeting, I still didn't have credit card statements because Critchlow wanted me to pay $170 to get copies of them. I refused to pay because the board should have already had copies of them and they were public records and Sunshine Law allows them to waive the fees when the documents are for public interest.

Even though I didn't have the credit card statements, the May 2014 board packets had the newly updated Bill Payments Report that included individual credit card charges. That's one of the topics that I came to speak about that night.

The Bill Payments report changes came about after I put pressure on the board in February 2014 to include the credit card statements in the board packets. However, the first pass of the Bill Payments Report didn't help much as I mentioned in my Public Comments. But the late materials copy of the board packet had an improved version which I linked to later in this article.

We all now know why Critchlow was so reluctant to include the credit card statements in the board packets. It also made her response to me at the May 2014 board meeting somewhat foretelling of what may have been weighing on her mind at the time.

During my Public Comments at the May 2014 board meeting, I repeated my concerns to the board about the bill payments reports, the credit card purchases, transparency issues and lack of response from the board via email. When I finished speaking, Critchlow responded to my comments about the updated Bill Payments Report and the credit card charges listed in the updated report.

(NOTE: The district had already spent more than $2+ million dollars on district credit cards for the 2013-2014 school year by February 2014.)

I laughed when I heard Critchlow's response when reviewing my audio recording because of the fact that she used AMAZON as an example of a credit card charge that might be listed on the newest version of the bill payments report. Because that's where she purchased the logging tongs, tow chains and blinged out cell phone cases from on April 2, 2014.

It's funny that Critchlow mentioned AMAZON! It must have been fresh on her mind since she just purchased those items the month before and they were on the May 2014 updated Bill Payments Report in the May board packet. Up until May 2014, credit card payments were listed as a single line item payment for each of the credit card vendors each month, SAMS CLUB DISCOVERVISA CARD SERVICES and AMERICAN EXPRESS.

Not only did Critchlow place her order during the work day for those items on April 2, 2014 but she used Debbie Davis's school district DISCOVER CARD to pay for them rather than her own district credit card!

Critchlow also had the order shipped directly to her home rather than the school.

It's hard to believe that the items she ordered weren't going to be used for personal use since she had them shipped directly to her home. You can find the purchases on the 04/23/2014 Discover card statement. I've written about some of this before in the article below which has a link to the October 3, 2014 demand for repayment letter sent to Critchlow from Fox CFO John Brazeal.

It's easy to say that the board was approving credit card payments. But you can't say that they were approving the individual credit card charges because Dianne Critchlow wasn't giving them to the board or the public. That had been my point for a long time. Without being able to review the individual charges on the statements, no one knew what was being purchased and how our tax dollars were being spent. Even with individual charges listed in the bill payments report, there was no way to know what was being purchased until the receipts for the charges were reviewed.

Plus, Critchlow used her secretary's Discover card to make purchases for her own personal use. Using someone else's credit card to make purchases would be very misleading to the board even if they did see the charges.

I had been asking the board to update the 2013-2014 Bill Payments report since August or September 2013 after the transaction description and account description columns were removed from the report when Fox switched to new software. It wasn't until later that I found in the district policies that the transaction description and funding account columns are REQUIRED to be on the report for the board to approve per district policy. So when Critchlow wrote me an email refusing to update the Bill Payments Report to add those columns back on the report she was violating board policy. Her email to me is very important evidence as to how she was keeping information from the board and the public.

Matching Up Credit Card Charges To Fund Accounts
I extracted the Bill Payment report pages from the May and June 2014 board meeting packets into a document that you can review to see what account funds the credit card charges were being posted to. You'll see what I was talking about in my Public Comments in the very first section of credit card charges from the May 2014 board packet. That section lists CARD SERVICES for both the TRANSACTION DESCRIPTION and the VENDOR NAME. That's not helpful at all in knowing what was purchased with the credit card.

What you can see is that the ACCOUNT DESCRIPTION column shows what fund account the charges were posted to. I included both the DISCOVER CARD and VISA CARD statements with the May and June Bill Payments reports so you can attempt to reconcile the line items on the Bill Payments report with the individual charges on the credit card statements. I've already highlighted the charges for Dianne Critchlow on the reports including the ones that she charged to Debbie Davis's DISCOVER CARD. Take note of what Accounts the charges were posted to. There are probably many more charges posted on other employee credit cards that we don't know about yet.

You'll notice that the first line item on the Bill Payments report for CARD SERVICES or SAMS CLUB DISCOVER has a total amount in the CHECK AMOUNT column. You can use that amount to match up the credit card statement with the check amount to know what charges on the statement match up with the entries on the Bill Payments report. This might make a fun game for a FACS class, business class or a journalism class.

Intent to Hide Facts
Note the use of PROF DEV MEAL ALLOWANCE VENDOR in the VENDOR NAME column on page 6 of the Bill Payments Report instead of using the actual name of the restaurants where Critchlow, McCutchen, Scott and others purchased food. Listing so many different fast food restaurants and other eateries would have thrown up a Red Flag as it did when the public saw the credit card statements for the first time.

Using PROF DEV MEAL ALLOWANCE VENDOR for restaurants gives the impression that someone wanted to hide the fact that administrators were eating quite often using Professional Development funds. In fact, the $11.79 charge was for the McDonald's meal that Dianne Critchlow charged to the district on a Saturday April 5, 2014 while she was on Family Medical Leave. This tactic demonstrates a great lack of integrity for a National District of Character.

Who's idea was it to enter PROF DEV MEAL ALLOWANCE VENDOR into the payment system rather than the actual restaurant names such as BurgerKing, Drunken Noodles, McDonalds, Panera Bread, Lodge Food and Beverage Lake Ozark MO and Holiday Inn Columbia?

To learn more about the funding accounts download and read the 2014-2015 Fox School District Budget from the district's website. Look in section 4 for the Revenue Accounts to see the list of revenue accounts and their prior year actuals and budget amount. You'll notice that the Critchlow charged the cell phone cases to the ADMIN OTHER EXPENSE account and the logging tongs to the STUDENT ACTIVITIES (S/A) BRIDGES REVOLVING account and other charges were posted to the S/A FOX DISTRICT REVOLVING account.

Critchlow refused to post the School Budget documents on the district website when I asked for them 3 years ago and numerous times since then. You can find them using the link below:

Prior Audits by Dan Jones & Associates
You may also want to review the audits that have been done each year by Dan Jones and Associates from the district website as well. It's odd that the yearly audits don't mention anything about the district credit cards considering millions of dollars in payments were made using credit cards.

There are disclaimers in the independent audit reports as well as to what their audits may or may not uncover related to the district's internal controls. According to the audits, it appears that they no issues were found to report to the board. You can download and read the audits here:

More Info On Twitter
Yesterday, after I extracted that audio I quickly posted a Twitter link to the audio on twitter so everyone could listen to her response. Posting on Twitter is quick and easy. That's why it's a good idea to follow my Twitter account as well:

You don't have to have a Twitter account to view my posts on Twitter. At anytime you can browse to the link above to read my Twitter posts. Dianne Critchlow used to have a Twitter account. I used to reference her posts and account quite often. However, she deleted her account when the internet scandal broke which also deleted the posts that she made including the one that said she was going on Family Medical Leave (FMLA).

So, if you haven't seen a post on this blog for several days or more you may want to check my Twitter page. I post a lot more quick comments or links to news articles, audio recordings or videos on Twitter because it doesn't take several hours or more to write and edit a whole article like it does when I write a blog post.

So I encourage you to follow or check in on my Twitter page quite regularly. I'm sure it won't grab national headlines like the #callitoffdianne tweets that were made by students in the district wanting to get off of school for a snow day earlier this year. But, you may find some news or information there that might be of interest.