In December of 2016, days before a crucial referendum, Delaware State Auditor Tom Wagner released a scathing audit inspection of the Indian River School District. The number one culprit of shenanigans in the district was their former Chief Financial Officer, Patrick Miller. What is Miller up to these days?
I thought I would do a cursory glance to see where Miller is planting his shoes these days. No charges were ever filed against Miller. It turns out he may have escaped the long arm of justice again. When he came to Indian River, he had just finished a stint in the Brandywine School District where it was alleged he (wait for it) misappropriated school finances.
Miller “resigned” from Indian River in March of 2016. Along with that “resignation”, he was allowed to collect a pension from the State of Delaware for his years of service to the state. He now spends his time, like he has for the past 15 or so years, at the Indian River Volunteer Fire Department where he currently serves as their President. It was that role that led to the Indian River Board of Education asking for a reimbursement from the ATV the fire department sold the district for a profit and an overhead projector Miller purchased for the fire department with school funds. That was request was for almost $5000.00.
The State of Delaware seems to have no issue with Miller’s history with abusing taxpayer funds because he is listed as the Procurement Contact for the Indian River Volunteer Fire Department on a State of Delaware list of over 350 such contacts for the state. And even given his controversial history, the United States Post Office still saw fit to grant Miller employment!
Similar education fund bandits, such as Noel Rodriguez from Academy of Dover and Sean Moore from Family Foundations Academy, eventually found themselves in Federal court for their theft and abuse of federal education funds. They were both sentenced to prison. Will Miller see a similar fate?
According to an article in Coastal Point in February of 2017, Indian River could have sued Miller in a civil suit. But they are waiting for action from the Delaware Attorney General’s office. That was almost a year and a half ago. The article also explained how the Indian River Board of Education was not able to touch Miller’s pension based on Delaware state code.
It is one thing to mess with funds at a charter school with less than 1,000 students. But Indian River School District has over 10,000 students. Miller’s shenanigans brought the district to its knees in the Fall of 2016. And there he is, walking free as a bird. For the citizens of Delaware, we await justice.