Family Foundations Academy: “potentially serious allegations of financial mismanagement”

As the drums of war continue to beat against Family Foundations Academy, news surfaced at the Delaware State Board of Education meeting yesterday that a 200 page audit of the embattled school was received by the Delaware Department of Education the day before.

Patrick Heffernan, a member of the board, stated he was “very disappointed this report came in at the 11th hour”, a day before the board had to decide on their charter renewal.

While it wasn’t implicitly said, there was a general feeling there were serious questions about the audit the school had done last winter, with Auphsite Consulting Group.  I had my own questions about that report as it blindly accepted what the school said were education expenses.  Furthermore, the individuals who compiled the audit were questionable.  I searched the three members on the report, Darnell Sulaiman, Nakisha Hadi, and Terri Muhammad.  I did find information on Sulaiman and Muhammad, but Nakisha Hadi, the financial analyst and certified forensic accountant does not appear to even exist.  Anywhere.  The only places that show them as a legitimate business appear on the company’s own website at 1500 Walnut St., Ste. 700 and a Manta business listing that shows them at a separate address, which is a row-house in Philadelphia, not the Walnut Street address on the report and their website.

Another company in Philadelphia, on Market Street, is Charter School Renewal, a company run by Alan Wohlstetter, a former attorney for Fox Rothschild.  Wohlstetter appears to be the current attorney for Family Foundations Academy based on the Delaware Charter School Office documents on their own website.  Fox Rothschild had many payments sent to them in 2014 from Family Foundations Academy, totaling well over $320,000.00.  Wohlstetter recently joined the firm of Zarwin, Baum, DeVito, Kaplan, Schaer, Toddy, P.C.  In their news release for Wohlstetter’s placement in the firm, they wrote the following:

Prior to joining the firm, Alan Wohlstetter was involved in financing more than thirty charter schools, serving as a Bond Counsel or Underwriter’s Counsel for schools in Pennsylvania, California, Texas, and Colorado. Most recently, he closed a $30 million bond financing for a Philadelphia charter school and currently serves as General Counsel to three charter schools. What’s more, Alan also serves as President of Charter School Renewal, a consulting firm which helps charter schools navigate change. 

Last June, Wohlstetter wrote a document for Fox Rothschild called Common Ground In Education: Closing Pennsylvania’s Low-Performing Charter Schools.

Another attorney from Fox Rothschild, Wali Rushdan, appeared to be helping Family Foundations Academy at their September 30th board meeting by taking minutes of the meeting.  Rushdan is also a member of the very same Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity that all the members of the Family Foundations Board and Head of School Sean Moore belong to.  While this could all appear to be coincidence, it should definitely be looked into by investigators.  There are just way too many connections here folks, and there needs to be answers and explanations to all of this in a public forum.

As well, Moore served as treasurer of the Delaware Charter School Network governing board.  This advocacy group for Delaware charter schools is essentially a lobbyist firm for charters.  According to their 2012 Form 990, the organization spent $24,000.00 in lobbying costs.  If Sean Moore was treasurer for this group, and he is behind a great deal of the financial malfeasance at Family Foundations Academy, I would have to wonder if he misspent funds there as well.

I reached out to State Auditor Tom Wagner’s office this morning but no one was able to talk at this point in time and I am awaiting a return call.  As well, I called Auphsite Consulting Group which does answer as Darnell Sulaiman but I was unable to connect with anyone there as well.

To be continued I’m sure…

12 thoughts on “Family Foundations Academy: “potentially serious allegations of financial mismanagement”

  1. Wow–just more disturbing information to make the good charter schools look bad to be affiliated with such negligence. Great sleuthing. Thanks for all you do Kevin!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So why is SM a joke? It seems a lot of people are in the wrong and didn’t really do their jobs. There is corruption and nepotism of some kind every where. This ultimately harms the students; who is gonna answer to that?

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  2. Great idea! According the school website, there is a board meeting next Tuesday at 7pm at the elementary school. It’s a public meeting and anyone can come!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m going to hazard a guess they wouldn’t want me there! 🙂 I’m just curious if the 200 page audit is going to be made public. I seriously hope this school board and the admins get their act together. School is for children and teenagers, not a playground for adults.

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  4. Both SM and TB are going to have to go. The State of Delaware, DOE will not allow either to participate in the day to day business of the school. Their best bet is walk away with whatever dignity they can save, and DOE needs to focus on the great things going on at FFA. My two grandchildren have been at FFA for years. We have had great expereinces with the staff, as well as with those DCAST scores.

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  5. Both parties need to go. If you take a moment and truly dissect the information out there, outside of ridiculous rumors and pay attention to the facts, BOTH parties appear to be guilty of misappropriating tens of thousands of dollars. There is now a petition lobbying for FFA Board to be fired and TB to be reinstated. It is an outrage! How can TB be categorized as a whistle blower? Did she blow the whistle before or after she allegedly stole money? Surely the people who are signing this petition cannot know that she TOO has allegedly stolen tens of thousands of dollars. I guess they can both argue that it was for a good cause. Last year, the 8th grade graduation was grander than any wedding I’ve attended. At the end of the evening, Ms. Brewington was scene resigning to her room. Who paid for that? I have visited FFA on many occasions and attended many events. Clearly the educators in place are doing something right. Outside of this inexcusable behavior, their data is better than all of the other inner-city charter schools out there. I vote for FFA, the institution, to be renewed. However, the leadership will need to be replaced and someone needs to be questioning the DOE. They aren’t paying attention!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This great breaking news! If a person is stealing thousands of money from kids then they deserve to be on front page and fired! He used the schools credit cards for his own personal gain– If Mr Moore spent less on himself and more on the kids then the parents wouldn’t have to break their banks to donate supplies that the school should donate— Just because a person is or seems nice — doesn’t mean they are and doesn’t mean they have good intentions

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  7. Pingback: Family Foundations Financial Fiasco Timeline | Exceptional Delaware

  8. Pingback: Wali Rushdan: How He Could Impact Delaware Education & His Ties To A Charter School Fiasco – Exceptional Delaware 2018

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