Saturday, July 8, 2017

Have you asked Fox C-6's Board of Educations what their plans are to recover Public Funds?

I've been a bit behind on posting some of the items that I've posted on the Fox C-6 Watchdogs Facebook page.

On June 5, 2017, I wrote the following post on Facebook for the community. I wrote it because it had been more than a year since the Missouri State Auditor publicly released their audit findings of the Fox C-6 School District. And after a year, there still hasn't been any further recovery of public fund.

On June 2, 2016, the LEADER's Patrick Martin presented some really good questions after the release of the 2016 Missouri Auditor's report in his Editor's Opinion article below: The title of his article was "Latest Taxpayer Horror Movie Unfolds within Fox Audit".

Below is what I originally posted on Facebook on June 5, 2017 along with a few additional details I've added regarding Dianne Critchlow's July 2014 Settlement and Release Agreement.

From Fox C-6 Watchdogs Facebook Post - June 5, 2017:

Has anyone else asked our school board or superintendent what the district plans to do about recovering the funds that were identified in the May 2016 Missouri State Auditor's report?

Last week I met with Dr. Wipke and Fox's school board president to discuss what the district planned to do about recovering the taxpayer dollars that were identified in the 2016 State Auditor's report.

If you think pursuing recovery of funds is important to our students and our taxpayers, I highly recommend contacting our school board members.

Currently, it doesn't appear that the district believes it can recover the funds for a variety of reasons.

Some of those reasons are:
  • There was never an admission of wrongdoing.
  • It doesn't appear that there was criminal intent to misuse taxpayer funds.
  • No criminal charges were filed by the prosecuting attorneys.
  • Since no criminal charges were filed, it makes it difficult to claim a "criminal loss" with the school district's insurance company.
  • The district could spend more money in legal fees than they recover.
  • Everything was approved by the board or signed off by the board president.
  • People's memories of what occurred may have faded.
  • Bringing up the past brings negative energy to the district.

You can find a lot of cases across the country where school districts recovered funds for their students and taxpayers after scathing audits. Typically school districts filed civil suits to recover the funds. In other cases, the school district's Errors and Omissions Insurance covered the loss and the insurance company then pursued the funds from the individuals that misused them.

Reading through years of articles, it's easy to see that a few people in the district didn't want the public to know what was going on.

As far as school board approval goes, at the June 25, 2013 school board meeting, the district submitted their request to the board to approve credit card usage according to school board policies. The district touted to the board that they now had "tighter controls" over their credit card usage.

So, who's to blame for the individuals like Dianne Critchlow for not following school board policies?

Was it the school board's fault that Critchlow did not follow school district policy when she used her school district credit card to purchase personal items and meals?

Critchlow had a very good reason as to why she didn't want me to get copies of the school district credit card statements in February 2014. You can also figure out why the district didn't provide me copies of the credit card statements for nearly 6 months after my original request.

I was also wondering if former superintendent Dianne Critchlow's 2014 Settlement and Release Agreement has been keeping the district from pursuing misused funds. I was provided the separation agreements from a Sunshine Request made in July 2014 and posted it on August 5, 2014. There were two very notable items in the separation agreement.

The first notable item that was written into the separation agreement was the fact that the district allowed Critchlow to file a claim using the school district's insurance policy that was paid for with public funds for "defense and indemnification”. This would most likely pay for any legal fees as well. It appears in paragraph 3(e) of her Settlement and Release Agreement as follows:

“Critchlow does not waive and hereby expressly reserves her rights and abilities, if any, to file a claim for defense and indemnification under any policy of insurance that may apply in any case, including but not limited to any policy of insurance purchased or retained by the District.”
Perhaps this part of the Settlement and Release Agreement is why the district hasn't filed a claim with the district's insurance carrier.

There’s also another sentence in her Settlement and Release Agreement that states that she cannot file a lawsuit against the district:

“Critchlow understands that the provisions of this Paragraph and Paragraph 3 mean that she cannot file a lawsuit against the District.”

You can read about Dianne Critchlow's July 2014 Release and Separation Agreement and read a copy of the agreement as well as view some of the district's Credit Card Statements I finally received in 2014 in the following article I wrote on August 5, 2014:

A year ago on June 2, 2016, the LEADER's Patrick Martin presented some really good questions after the release of the 2016 Missouri Auditor's report in his Editor's Opinion article below: The title of his article was "Latest Taxpayer Horror Movie Unfolds within Fox Audit".