Grandview Needs to Take Next Step in Response to Scandal

23 Dec

The Leader has reported that the Grandview R-2 school district has put business manager Angela Huskey on unpaid administrative leave after finding that “internal fiscal control procedures were not properly followed.” This was found as a result of a special audit ordered by the district on October 20 after initial suspicions arose. The district will spend up to $80,000 for the audit.

However, the school board needs to take the next step and ask for an audit from the state auditor. Such an audit would be comprehensive, unbiased, professional, and transparent to taxpayers. Will the current special audit, being performed by longtime auditor of the Fox district Dan Jones and Associates, even be released to the public? The discussion between Jones and the Grandview board that took place on December 15 was conducted in a closed session. Taxpayers need to be sure that whatever wrongdoing took place at Grandview is aired publicly, not concealed in closed session. The audit will serve as the basis for any potential criminal prosecution (even if the county prosecutor slow rolls such prosecution). A state audit will tell us how well the district is managing taxpayer dollars and recommend improved procedures. One person cannot steal or misappropriate large sums of money from a school district (if that’s what happened here) without other people failing to exercise the required checks and balances. Who else is culpable? I do not believe that “we are already doing an audit” is a valid excuse not to get a state audit, because they are not the same.

You may recall that, back when the Fox scandal broke, the school board initially resisted calls by myself, Rich Simpson, and others for a state audit. They said, nah, let’s give Fox CFO John Brazeal a chance to investigate.” But soon, Brazeal said a state audit was needed, and the Fox board asked the state auditor to investigate, which he agreed to do. This is from the intro to the final audit report:

The Fox C-6 School District was selected for an audit in part due to a written audit request by the Fox C-6 Board of Education (Board), in addition to phone calls received outlining concerns, and news articles detailing questionable practices by former Superintendent Dr. Dianne Critchlow.

Because the auditor accepted the audit request from Fox, the district did not have to pay for the audit, so cost cannot be used as an excuse not to do this.

Call to Action

This is where the people of the Grandview district come in. Contact your school board members and the state auditor and ask for a state audit. Ask your school board members if they will represent the taxpayers or cover for the administration. Forward the articles from the Leader to the state auditor. Let’s make sure that we get to the bottom of what has happened at Grandview.

State Auditor contact info:
(800) 347-8597
moaudit@auditor.mo.gov

Grandview school board member contact info can be found at this link.

Unpaid Leave

Do you think that Rep. Rob Vescovo’s Critchlow Law is to thank for the fact that Huskey is on unpaid leave instead of paid leave? Perhaps it is, but she’s also a lowly business manager. Paid leave is often reserved for senior administrators.

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