Charter School of Wilmington is up for their charter school renewal with Red Clay Consolidated School District. The Red Clay board discussed this charter renewal with Dr. Sam Paoli, the President of CSW, at their meeting tonight. It came out that CSW is breaking state law in a very major way. Continue reading
James Spadola, you should have said no. Today, Delaware State Auditor Tom Wagner appointed James Spadola, who is the Republican candidate for State Auditor, to be his Deputy in the Auditor of Accounts Office. Spadola faces Democrat candidate Kathy McGuiness in the November 6th election. Continue reading
On September 7th, I filed a Freedom of Information Act complaint against the Delaware Auditor of Accounts office. Even though I did receive the documentation for my original FOIA request regarding a contract that office entered into with Grant Thornton, it came very late. In fact, it came the day after a highly contested primary for the State Auditor position. But my FOIA complaint dealt with what I felt were illegal and unethical issues coming out of AOA. Continue reading
John Fluharty. He who suffers from that unique Delaware ailment called sitting in a job and getting paid on the taxpayer dime and doing nothing. For someone who pretends to be a Republican, he sure does like to get involved in Democrat power games. Continue reading
In a close race, Kathy McGuiness won the Democrat Primary for State Auditor this evening. John Fluharty, State Auditor Tom Wagner’s Deputy, was behind the leaks about Kathleen Davies to the News Journal and other media outlets in Delaware. The News Journal reporter, Jessica Bies, relished in writing about this sordid mess. So much so she forgot what Journalism 101 even looks like and did the bidding of her masters to smear Davies no matter what it takes. Because that is the true and ugly side of the Delaware Way.
Tonight, Fluharty gave the following statement about the McGuiness win to the News Journal:
John Fluharty, who works for Wagner and is the former executive director for the Delaware Republican Party, said: “Democratic voters sent a clear message to Kathleen Davies tonight.”
“Don’t go away mad, just go away.”
John Fluharty is the cockiest and most arrogant son of a bitch I’ve run across in Delaware. Enjoy your moment in the sun Fluharty. I can promise you it won’t last long.
What Fluharty seems to forget is Davies could return to that office as Tom Wagner’s second-in-command after the next Merit Employee Review Board hearing.
I am far from done with Mr. Fluharty. Along with his co-conspirators, Andrena Burd and Tammy Smith, they attempted to destroy Kathleen Davies. They didn’t succeed. The results of the Primary have no bearing on the heart and soul of Kathleen Davies. She is still an awesome woman and you didn’t break her. Despite the best efforts of the Fluharty Gang along with the News Journal, Davies was not trounced. It was a close win for McGuiness in a three-way race.
It is obvious, given Tammy Smith’s statement on Facebook five days ago, along with the same language conveyed from McGuiness supporter Mitch Crane to myself back in June, the office was talking with the McGuiness camp. What Smith said was near verbatim to what Crane said he “heard” about that office. I even have an email where Crane and Fluharty discussed getting together for lunch. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see you would tell anyone fantastical stories to keep your job.
As far as McGuiness v. Spadola… to be continued…
Fluharty is a state employee. He said this about someone knowing full well there are still hearings going on about her unwarranted dismissal. Together with Smith’s Facebook rant the other day, he is openly and publicly saying screw you to any state rules in talking about an office personnel matter. He thinks he can get away with whatever he wants. But let me ask you this Fluharty. If McGuiness wins the General Election, do you really think you have any shot in Hell of remaining in that office? Do you think the “life-long Democrat” will keep a slimy Republican like yourself? If Spadola wins, by the time I have my fun with you between now and the General Election, would he want someone as toxic as you in that office? Either way, you will be gone. Toast.
You might be thinking you won some war and I have no doubt you and your cronies in the office will be celebrating tomorrow. It will be a short-lived victory. I can promise you that. You are just as expendable as you made Davies. Along with Burd and Smith.
With two days until the Delaware Primary, things are heating up. For the State Auditor race, some people are getting scared of a Kathleen Davies victory. So much so they are willing to torpedo their professional life so folks don’t vote for Davies. When it comes from the Auditor of Accounts office with someone who reported directly to Davies, that is very bad for that employee. The Merit Employee Review Board has not even finished their hearing but Tammy Smith feels she can say whatever she wants. I think what may shape Smith’s career is her Facebook post, not the outcome of the Primary. Continue reading
When you have family in the same fire company as Patrick Miller, the fraud/theft king of Delaware, your perspective might be a bit off. For State Representative Stephen Smyk, he might as well give up his seat in the House chamber to Patrick Miller after what he said on the radio this morning!
Kathleen Davies just released the agreement for the Grant Thornton contract. The contract was commissioned by Delaware State Auditor Tom Wagner to look into Kathleen Davies, who many feel was ousted from Wagner’s office for doing quality audit investigations. The contract is a bigger bomb than the report because it proves the report is bogus. Continue reading
Kathleen Davies, a Democrat candidate for Delaware State Auditor, issued an official press release today about the very controversial News Journal article that appeared online and in print over the past couple of weeks. This answers many questions I’ve had and confirms many suspicions I’ve harbored over this matter. Continue reading
It appears there was collusion going on between various Delaware agencies when it came to the Indian River School District audit investigation in 2016. As a result of that collusion, Patrick Miller walks free and Susan Bunting became the Delaware Secretary of Education. Continue reading
Editor’s Note: I was going through my drafts folder today and I found this little gem from June 20th, 2016. I wasn’t able to fully verify the reason Kathleen Davies was ousted from State Auditor Tom Wagner’s office. Nobody really knew except Tom Wagner and he wasn’t talking. I had my suspicions. Turns out they were just part of the reason. As Davies continues to get wrongly persecuted by the News Journal during an election, I thought this would be an opportune time to publish this “lost in the drafts folder” article:
For the past couple years, Kathleen Davies has been very busy. As the Chief Administrative Auditor, she had her hands full with education audits, specifically those dealing with charter schools. She was in charge of the investigations for Academy of Dover, Family Foundations Academy, Providence Creek Academy, and the recent September 30th Count investigation. Recently, however, there have been two glaring omissions from State Auditor Tom Wagner’s website: Kathleen Davies and the September 30th Count report. Where did they go? Are the two connected?
This is Delaware. Of course they are. Word on the street is the Delaware Department of Education didn’t like the September 30th report, even though they requested it. When they asked Davies to make changes, she refused. This caused an impasse, and the result… Davies and the report are gone. Apparently the DOE’s influence now stretches across State of Delaware Departments. All the way to the Auditor’s office. Ironically, their central offices are both located in the Townsend Building.
Jessica Bies with the News Journal wrote an article about State Auditor candidate Kathleen Davies and willfully withheld information provided to her that would have drastically changed her article. There is absolutely no credible reason for Bies to withhold crucial information like that. Continue reading
The former Superintendent of Indian River School District who is now the Delaware Secretary of Education, Dr. Susan Bunting, was well aware Patrick Miller, the former Indian River Chief Financial Officer, was stealing money. Despite telling the Auditor of Account’s office, Delaware media, and the staff of Indian River that she was shocked and had no clue about what Miller was doing, she knew. In fact, she knew going back to at least 2008. Continue reading
As part of their audit investigation with the State Auditor, the Superintendent of Indian River School District and the Director of Personnel told the Auditor of Account’s Office there had never been any formal complaints against their former Chief Financial Officer, Patrick Miller. They lied. Warning: some of the language used by Patrick Miller in the parent’s complaint is NOT SAFE FOR WORK. Continue reading
Brandywine School District. Indian River School District. Indian River Volunteer Fire Company. What do all three of these have in common? Patrick Miller. A man accused of financial fraud in the two districts who is not behind bars. High crimes and misdemeanors indeed! But he is a free man. How is that even possible? Continue reading
The Delaware News Journal came out with an article today about the ongoing battle between Kathleen Davies and the Office of the Auditor of Accounts. Even though the hearing with the Department of Labor ruled State Auditor Tom Wagner terminated Davies without cause, that only determined unemployment funding for Davies. Now the battle is heating up with the Delaware Merit Employee Review Board (MERB). But the News Journal article is missing or failed to report some vital facts. Continue reading
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? Continue reading
Kathy McGuiness issued a victim shaming press release today against her State Auditor candidate, Kathleen Davies. Seeing this is showing McGuiness has to be worried about losing a primary (again) in September! In her latest stunt, she sent an email to her “supporters” today about the News Journal article on Davies that appeared online yesterday.
The urban dictionary describes victim shaming as this- “When the victim of an event is blamed, or partially blamed, for their own attack.”
While I first wrote about why Davies was unfairly dismissed from the Auditor’s office on June 5th, it took the News Journal twenty days to (finally) catch up with that news. But they didn’t assign a political reporter to the story, but rather an education reporter. Both of our articles were very similar in citing the unemployment hearing report. I did my thing but the News Journal did have some new information.
Bies wrote about an upcoming Merit Employee Review Hearing. This hearing will determine if Davies gets her job back. Bies did a good job at expressing Davies’ thoughts on the matter:
“Merit employees are subject to a process that is controlled and driven by the state,” she explained in an email. “Hence, I had to follow the state’s guidelines and processes, which meant I had to stay on paid leave as long as the state kept me there in order to exercise my merit and legal remedies. I and other merit employees have suffered through this process with no option other than to engage legal counsel and wait.”
“The state chose to keep me on paid leave for the 19 months before I could move forward with the merit and legal process,” Davies said. “My legal representation, as is the case with other merit employees, is at my own expense. Had I resigned from my position during the 19 months, I would have lost my rights to these remedies.”
But here comes Kathy McGuiness, sending out a VERY misleading email today, calling on Davies to make her merit hearing public AND to release a report that the Auditor’s office paid over $100,000.00 for. Yes, the Grant Thornton report. The same report that was incomplete at the unemployment hearing. Which begs some serious questions- why didn’t Wagner release the full report to the unemployment hearing officer? Were there allegations against Wagner himself in that report? Did Wagner’s office have the ability to edit that report or redact information since the full copy wasn’t released to the hearing officer?
The McGuiness campaign wrote the following “press release” today which is begging for a red-lining!
Kathy McGuiness, Democratic candidate for Auditor, responded to today’s News Journal report detailing the latest developments in Kathleen Davies’ dismissal from her post as Tom Wagner’s second-in-command and issued the following:
McGuiness acts like this has been in the press every single day for two years. It hasn’t. She wants to put a focus on something that was already solved. In short, Wagner screwed up!
“In two months, Democratic primary voters will be choosing their nominee for this critical state office and deserve to know what was found in the independent investigation leading to Kathleen Davies’ initial dismissal from the Auditor’s Office.
Wagner dismissed Davies before that investigation was even complete. Now if you are talking about the unwarranted and unethical “independent investigation” conducted by an audit manager in the office without any authority to do so, we can talk about that. Which led to Davies’ wrongful termination and was ruled by the unemployment hearing officer to be unethical.
Based on the News Journal account, the Wagner-Davies Auditor’s Office operated without leadership for years.
Actually, they did operate with leadership which most likely scared half the people in the office. All of a sudden, not long after Davies came aboard, that office was doing real audits that wound up resulting in real jail sentences for crooked charter school leaders. But apparently some didn’t like Davies in a leadership role so they trumped up bogus charges against her. It backfired. Davies proved she does have what it takes to get the job done!
The decision allowing her to receive unemployment insurance is only the first step of the investigation into Ms. Davies’ professional conduct while working for Tom Wagner.
Even though, based on testimony of others in that office, including Wagner himself, it was proven Davies professional conduct was above and beyond and she did her job. Okay. It seems like McGuiness is screaming about smoke but there is no fire.
The Auditor’s office has to operate transparently and maintain the public’s trust.
For someone who talks so much about transparency, why doesn’t McGuiness open up the books on her many years on Rehoboth City Council? Where is the Rehoboth City Council online checkbook? For a council she served on for so long, how come she never begged for that kind of transparency down there?
To have critical investigative information about a candidate for State Auditor withheld from the public and to have a hearing closed to the public, where serious accusations about her professional conduct while on the job is a disservice to voters and undermines the public’s confidence.
To see my own take on McGuiness, just look at this article. Yes, this is the same McGuiness who wanted LLCs to have voting rights. Who had to hire an attorney to figure out if she lived in Delaware or Utah in order for her to qualify as a candidate for Lieutenant Governor. Who changed her political party several times. For the record, Davies has not said one way or the other whether or not the hearing will be public. I would imagine she has a lawyer involved and she would make a decision based on her own legal counsel. And this hearing is NOT about the serious accusations about her professional conduct. It is about Davies serious accusations against the Auditor’s office which had a light as bright as the sun shining on Wagner’s office after the unemployment hearing. For McGuiness to sit there and victim shame Davies is very low, even for Delaware politics. But I guess you have to do what you can to win, right?
Because she is a candidate for public office, I call on Ms. Davies to authorize the Auditor’s office to release to the public, the content of the Grant Thornton investigation as well as any other pertinent information relating into her conduct as Tom Wagner’s top assistant, and permit her July hearing before the Merit Employees Relations Board to be open to the public, so voters have all the facts.”
You are assuming she has the ability to “authorize” the Auditor’s office to make a report they paid for public. Regarding a personnel issue. And once again, the same report that could very well have been doctored to such a degree to make Wagner try to look good. Which it failed to do at the unemployment hearing by the way. Even though the unemployment hearing report cleared Davies of the wrongdoing this “audit manager” trumped up against her, that isn’t enough for McGuiness. She wants this report released which would, in most likelihood, make Wagner look even worse than he already does.
What McGuiness failed to mention in her email is the heart of the News Journal article which was this- Tom Wagner unfairly terminated Davies. And it went on to state how it was unfair. Instead she is trying to make a “thing” out of something that was already solved when I put up my article three weeks ago. These are the actions of a desperate woman who thought she had a sure thing in running for State Auditor. Someone who likes to talk about transparency but doesn’t even release her own reimbursements with the City of Rehoboth.
But McGuiness doesn’t even bother to write how the Merit Employee Review Board deals with grievances Delaware state employees file against the agency they worked for. Davies isn’t the one on trial here. The purpose is to hear what Davies has to say in regards to the grievances she filed against Tom Wagner. I have no doubt she viewed Davies as a distant runner in the race and didn’t count on her being vindicated in the press. So she wants to attempt to stir up trouble instead of reaching out to a political candidate. The right thing for McGuiness to do would be to sympathize with Davies, woman to woman, and recognize that, yes, our state employee merit system is very jacked up. Nope, she wants to try to throw Davies under a victim shaming bus and that is just wrong.
Kathy McGuiness wants to talk on her campaign stops about diversity as she sits on the all-white and well-off Rehoboth City Council. She is just wrong for State Auditor and if that hasn’t become clear to anyone in Delaware yet, I strongly encourage you to look beyond the “image” of McGuiness. She will happily show up at any event in the First State and tell you why she should be State Auditor. But that doesn’t make her the real thing.
This is an ongoing issue between Davies and Wagner. Davies was cleared in the first round. That has been made public already. If McGuiness wants to victim blame another candidate to make herself look like a viable candidate, that is certainly her right but it is a new low. Which would make me very concerned about her ability to hold statewide office and how she would deal with those who cross her path in a way she doesn’t like. This is the Kathy McGuiness that, when she feels threatened, would victim shame a good and decent woman. While some in the Delaware Democrat party pledge allegiance to McGuiness, they are doing it for all the wrong reasons. And they know what those reasons are. They want McGuiness because she is malleable and will serve at their behest. But I can promise it will be a decision those Democrat power brokers would live to regret down the road. The optics of politics is a messy thing. Delaware deserves a State Auditor that is not malleable and will not serve power brokers. Delaware deserves Kathleen Davies.
A few days ago I put an article up about petty cash abuse in our districts and charter schools. No state agency has yet to give an official response even though they are all well aware of the article at this point. I’m fairly sure if there were an investigation that came out of this the last person they would tell is me.
The interesting snafu in all this is Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security. They are already on probation from their formal review. While not using a petty cash for fun time at the school is not a condition of their probation, the fact that money was used for fun time and who knows what else is a concern. I’ve heard lots of tales about how that money was used. An auditor would have a field day with this.
Like I said, I’m not too concerned with the folks who did it once or twice. Those can be explained. In fact, one school district made it a point to contact me. It is the chronic offenders I take issue with. Most especially the two that got a letter from Tom Wagner less than two years ago saying “Don’t do it”. No one should be doing it to begin with but when you get a letter like that and essentially flip the bird and do the same thing all over again, I have ZERO respect for you. Sounds like Sam Paoli has more on his plate than just CSW teachers joining the union!
I was really hoping Margie Lopez Waite and the board at DAPSS would act on this immediately. But no, when I go to the DAPSS website I see the SAME person on there who was behind the school’s petty cash splurging. On the taxpayer’s dime. I don’t mind paying taxes so kids can get an education. But I take a very serious affront to school leaders who want to break the rules and treat state money like it is their own piggy bank to play with. Yes, I’m talking about you Herb Sheldon. Margie acted lightning fast last Winter in getting someone off the school website. But I guess playing with school funding is an okay. Gotcha! I understand now!
Will anyone in the state actually do more on this issue than send more letters saying “Don’t do this”? When does REAL accountability start happening?
**UPDATED BELOW WITH NEW INFORMATION ABOUT ONE DISTRICT**
Two years ago, letters went out to five charter schools from State Auditor Tom Wagner letting them know they were in violation of Delaware’s Budget and Accounting Manual (BAM). For the purposes of this article, I looked to see how many districts and charters violated BAM in one area. That was where they write checks from petty cash accounts for more than $500.00. That is a big no-no according to BAM. I looked in both FY2017 and FY2018 up until May 31st. There were many offenders, including two who were included in the 2016 letters! The reason I started with FY2017 was to give the benefit of the doubt just in case districts and charters were not clear of the rule before that fiscal year. This isn’t just a few districts and charter schools. Continue reading