Tabula Rasa

A clean slate.

2019 is here.  We have many newly elected officials in Delaware.  Legislators, a State Auditor, a State Treasurer, and an Attorney General.  They all have a once in a lifetime chance to begin something new and to start a new conversation.

Even the ones I have gone after in the past have a clean slate.  Their world is just beginning no matter how they got there.  They have a golden opportunity to do more than the status quo.  They have a chance to steer Delaware in a new and better direction.

Beginning today, we will see these public officials being sworn in to their new roles.  In exactly a week from now, many new State Reps and State Senators will become a vital part of the public eye.  What they do and how they do it will become the foundation of their future.

Who will go against the grain?  Who will put the needs of Delaware citizens over corporate interests?  Who will dare to fight their own party for what is right and just?  We will find out.

In modern times, Tabula Rasa was the title of the third episode of the hit television show, LOST.  As we slowly learned about the secrets harbored by the survivors of Oceanic 815, we also see that they are beginning anew.  Despite the history they had before the island, they had the chance to start over again in their present circumstance.  This is the reality of all the new elected officials in Delaware.

I will give all of them a chance.  And I mean ALL of them.  Even the one I have written about the most on here.  Because, as of tomorrow, that person will be in a very unique position and how she does that will be the truest testament to her character and I truly hope she rises above my expectations.  I will believe they all mean what they say and how they want to make life better for Delaware.  If they slip and fall, I will be there.  If they succeed, I will be there.  I am watching them with curious eyes.  In my eyes, it is about more than political party.  I have always believed that.  It is about doing what is right, especially for kids.  Because they don’t always have a voice and they truly don’t care about Democrats or Republicans.

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McGuiness Isn’t Even Elected A Week And She’s Already Stirring Up Controversy

Last week, Delawareans decided to put Kathy McGuiness in the State Auditor position.  Not all Delawareans, that is, but enough for her to win.  It’s not like I didn’t warn you all for the past year.  According to the Cape Gazette, McGuiness hasn’t decided if she will vacate her position as Rehoboth Commissioner.  Hello Delaware, can you say conflict of interest? Continue reading

Exceptional Delaware Endorsements For Election Day In Delaware

Finally! All the talk can stop about who is better.  After tomorrow we will know.  I felt obligated to give my endorsements for all the races.  Some will care, some won’t.  Some may shock you while some will be all “duh, didn’t see that one coming!”  Just do one thing tomorrow- VOTE!  It’s one of the strongest ways you can make your voice heard in your state and country!

Here are my “official” endorsements: Continue reading

The McGuiness Temper Explodes At Debate As She Attacks Freedom #VoteSpadola!!!!!

The League of Women Voters forum at Delaware State University this evening was the perfect showcase for anyone who might be on the fence about the State Auditor position.  Kathy McGuiness scowled and complained her way to absurdity tonight. Continue reading

Final Delaware General Election Candidates

The Delaware Primary reduced the number of candidates.  We now have a clear understanding of who will face who in the General Election.  Some seats in the General Assembly have been determined by the results of yesterday’s primary.  The election is November 6th.  Start your engines! Continue reading

Vote In The Delaware Primary Polls!

 

FINAL LIST of Delaware Filed Candidates for State Attorney General, State Auditor, State Treasurer, State Representative, State Senator, U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator

This is a list of the FINAL candidates for both the Delaware Primary and the Delaware General Election.  I will be coming out with endorsements in the next few weeks.

Election Day 2018 is three and a half months away.  The Primary is in less than two months.

Dates to know:

9/6/18: Delaware Primary

11/6/18: Delaware General Election

Last updated: 7/10/2018, 11:38am

Continue reading

My Email To Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf & Senator Patricia Blevins About House Bills 186 & 61

After seeing the stunts pulled by the Earl Jaques with House Bill 186, the Academy of Dover State Auditor report, and the very deliberate attempts by the Delaware Charter Schools Network to kill the bill, I decided to start digging into charter school board minutes yesterday which is how I found out the information on Odyssey Charter and Thomas Edison Charter School.  By the time I published that information, I was pretty livid and disgusted, so I emailed the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate to get both House Bill 186 AND House Bill 61.  This is what I wrote:

Good Evening Rep. Schwartzkopf and Senator Blevins,

I wrote two articles on Exceptional Delaware tonight about two Delaware charter schools, Odyssey and Thomas Edison.  All my information was obtained from their own board minutes.  These charters, along with Academy of Dover, Family Foundations Academy and Providence Creek Academy and two other unnamed charters are all having huge financial issues as well as investigations by Tom Wagner’s office.

Rep. Kim Williams has been monitoring these situations since last December when Family Foundations Academy was revealed to have fraud and waste going on with spending by their two heads of schools.  She very wisely introduced House Bill 53, then House Bill 154, both of which were folded into House Bill 186.  After a week of being in limbo, the bill was finally released from committee today.  I am asking you both a huge favor here, and I know I have no position to make this request.

I am asking Rep. Schwartzkopf to place this, as well as House Bill 61 (allows for recording of all school board meetings) on the agenda for a House vote tomorrow, and if it passes, that Senator Blevins suspends Delaware Senate rules and petition these bills out of the education committee and have them on the agenda for a Senate vote before midnight on June 30th. 

While we are cutting funds from services that desperately need funds, our charter schools are running amok.  And these are only the ones we KNOW are doing stuff to warrant an investigation by Wagner’s office.  For some reason, they are protected by organizations like the Delaware Charter Schools Network who may or may not know about many of these financial improprieties. 

If we truly want to make Delaware education a top priority, it starts with oversight of our schools.  This is beyond the point of absurdity.  Thank you very much for your consideration on this matter and I pray you will make the right decisions here for the good of Delaware students.

Kevin Ohlandt

If you would also like to see this action taken, please call Schwartkopf at (302) 744-4531 or email him at Peter.Schwartzokpf@state.de.us and call Blevins at (302) 744-4133 or email her at Patricia.Blevins@state.de.us and let them know you want votes on both of these very important bills.  And I strongly recommend doing this prior to 2pm today!

Breaking News: Family Foundations Academy Under Financial Investigation With State Auditor

The crisis with Family Foundations Academy continues, and it’s looking real bad for them.  Attention is focused on Head of School Sean Moore.  After allegations by a parent that he bought two Mercedes Benz with state funds, as well as several other insinuations, including a very large lawsuit of the sexual nature, and increased usage of state p-cards, the Auditor of Accounts for Delaware is investigating the finances of the school.  And it looks like the school has hired an attorney.

As revealed by Kilroy yesterday, Family Foundations Academy had a financial forensic investigation done last February by a company called Auphsite Consulting & Advisory.  The report went over the use of purchase card transactions, also known as P-card purchases.  These are essentially credit card transactions.  When these are paid by state entities, they appear on Delaware Online Checkbook under the initials PCA instead of a check number.

This isn’t the first time Sean Moore has been called out on the use of p-cards.  In 2011, a News Journal article written by Nichole Dobo detailed the high use of p-cards by administrators and school districts.  She even interviewed Sean Moore:

At Family Foundations Academy Charter School, numerous trips were paid for with the state credit card, and that bill was then paid with fundraising money, said Sean Moore, a co-director at the school. For instance, one trip was to a 76ers basketball game. A parent group at the school raised money so parents and students could attend the game. It’s not practical, for instance, to ask parents to bring “a handful of ones” to pay for Sixers tickets, he said.

The Sixers, huh?  More on that later!  The full article from the News Journal can be found here: http://archive.delawareonline.com/article/20110206/NEWS03/102060344/Delaware-schools-hidden-spending

Earlier in this school year, Noel Rodriguez, the former head of school for Academy of Dover, “resigned”.  However, several people told me it was due to misuse of the schools p-card.  While this was never made public, and Academy of Dover would not state the reason for Rodriguez’ “resignation”, their board minutes last month stated the p-cards have been taken away from the school.

Back to the independent audit questioned the high number of p-card transactions done by the two Head of School leaders, Sean Moore and Dr. Tennell Brewington.  The report found that out of the $116,309.45 in p-card purchases from July 1, 2012 to February 21, 2014, $3,908.85 was unallocated from what are deemed as valid school expenses.

The report recommended the school no longer use the WSFS bank account attached to this p-card, but the school did not heed that advice as p-card transactions continue on the State of Delaware Online Credit Card Transactions website through November 26th of this year with $38,849.41 in charges just for that month alone.  While most were valid educational expenses, some were questionable, including a Comcast Spotlight PHL charge for $8,670.00.  While Comcast charges are sure to arise in the state of Delaware due to cable costs, Family Foundations Academy was the only one to have a charge from Comcast Spotlight PHL.  In fact, out of all the Comcast charges for all of the state entities, the next highest was a little over $3900 for The Hospital For The Chronically Ill.  But to give the school the benefit of the doubt, maybe they were just really behind on their monthly bill.  I saw what looked like a regular monthly charge from the end of September.  But then in July, there were two transactions, one for $7,620 and another one for $8,670.

I checked to see what was happening at the Comcast Center in Philadelphia in July.  Nothing popped up that could warrant those kinds of charges.  But then I remembered the talk about the whole board and the two heads of school being in a fraternity.  After some extensive googling, I remembered that several members of the board belong to a fraternity called Kappa Alpha Psi.  They actually have a business called Kappa Alpha Psi Fraterity, Inc., based out of Philadelphia.  On their Google Groups page, they have an event coming up on January 5th, 2015 for a ’76ers game at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.  You can even get tickets on the Google Groups website, right here, by clicking on the ’76ers game for January 5th vs. the Cavaliers: http://www.wilmingtonkappas.com/Events/

Who is running the paypal site it brings you to?  Hmm, I have to wonder.

In the report there were numerous charges that both Sean Moore and Dr. Tennell Brewington had as costs for the school.  But many of these costs seem very high.  I went over them with a few people, and they all agreed these seem to be extremely high costs for a charter school of 800 students.

Delaware Online Checkbook for Family Foundations for FY 2015:

Auphsite Holding Company: $85,081.96, 21 payments

Antonio’s Lawn Service: $14,335, 5 pmts

Baronhr Healthcare LLC: $3627, 6 pmts

Black Magic Seal Coating and Asphalt Inc. $4290, 1 pmt

Cherry Bros LLC $7194.65

County Insulation Co. $20,000.00 (company is with other schools, but this is over 3 times higher than payments from other districts)

Crestmoor Swim Club $1750.00 only other one is Del Tech Stanton Campus

Global Equipment Company Inc.: many other districts, but 2nd highest is $1-$2k, FFA is at $5+k

Groupcast LLC: $3,670, 2 pmts., MOT also has 1 pmt

Rapid Renovation and Repair $3,235, 2 pmts

Rosanne Tray Inc. $11,789.50, 2 pmts

SB and Company LLC $16,000, 3 pmts, ****Providence Creek, 1 pmt $7,500.00***

System Liquidation Inc. $14,300, 2pmts

With many parents reporting many bizarre activities going on at the school, with the 90 day suspension of co-head of school, Dr. Tennell Brewington, and conflicts of interest resulting in administrative positions and board placements, it seems as if this school falling apart.  I would love if “Dee” would comment on these articles!  It has become painfully obvious there has been no financial oversight for years, and the Delaware DOE needs to be held accountable as well.  As Kilroy reported yesterday, the Citizens Budget Oversight Committee is required to have a representative from the Delaware DOE present at each meeting, but if Family Foundations Academy hasn’t had a committee until recently, where is the disconnect?

Numerous names from the DOE are mentioned in the complaints document.  When state funds are used to pay $155,000.00 to an attorney’s office, is there anything flagged for that high of  an amount?  There are way too many questions here, and the parents definitely wants answers.