The People Of Delaware Demand Justice Be Served On Patrick Miller!

Enough is enough already.  This guy has been walking around since the 1990s with fraud and abuse of taxpayer funds in his rearview mirror as he walks around like he is the Al Capone of Delaware.  If the Delaware Attorney General’s office won’t act, the people will force them to!

Please sign the Change.org petition at the below link.  I was really hoping Attorney General Matt Denn would take significant action against Patrick Miller but he failed, plain and simple.  Now it is incumbent on incoming Attorney General Kathleen Jennings to reopen the investigations into Patrick Miller, not only at the Indian River School District but also the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company.

Change.org Petition: The People Demand A Full Investigation Into Patrick Miller!

Polytech and Sussex Tech Salaries Over $100,000

Delaware has three vocational districts, one for each county.  For this post, I’m combining Polytech (Kent) and Sussex Tech (Sussex).  Both have fixed enrollments.  In fact, Sussex Tech got in trouble a few years ago for going over that fixed amount of students.  The key difference in funding between the vo-techs and the districts and charters is the Delaware General Assembly sets their budget in line-by-line items in their annual budget.  As well, their boards are appointed by the Governor of Delaware.  Their salaries can be higher than the districts around them in certain areas.  And what is up with Sussex Tech’s former Superintendent still making the big bucks?  Isn’t he former?  Oh yeah, he’s been on paid leave since last June because of inappropriate land deals down there according to the Cape Gazette.  Do these two schools really need this many administrators? Continue reading

Why Does Our State Auditor Only Find Things Like The Sussex Tech Fraud From Tips? Are There More Sussex Tech Situations We Don’t Know About?

Boom! Jack Wells sent one hell of an email to Delaware State Auditor Tom Wagner today.  This is one for the record books and opens up a whole new ballpark on the question of financial oversight of our school districts and charter schools!

TO: Mr. Thomas Wagner, Auditor of Accounts

This report reveals numerous problems that were “only” revealed because the Office of Auditor of Accounts {AOA} received an anonymous complaint on 1 July 2014. 

While I am concerned about the findings, I am even more troubled why these findings were not identified in the State of Delaware Statewide School Districts’ Construction Projects Attestation Engagements conducted in fiscal years 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.  

Question: Since these reports did not reveal the problems identified in the report conducted by your auditors as a result of an anonymous complaint, can you inform me the purpose of these engagements/examinations?

Comment: Some findings were revealed, however the report ending June 30,2015 states: “Our examination disclosed no instances of noncompliance or other matters that are required to be reported under Government Auditing Standards. Hopefully your answer to my question will disclose what must be reported under Government Auditing Standards.

While I am troubled by these findings, I have to wonder if these findings and others problems are not being revealed by the engagements/examinations that are being conducted each year. Provided below are the number of districts that are audited each fiscal year.

Fiscal Year     # of  School Districts  Audited

2012                   18

2013                   17

2014                   18

2015                   18

2016                   16

I have to wonder if the findings on Sussex Technical are only the tip of an iceberg.

Finally and even more troubling is the fact that audits required by law to verify expenditures of $2.3 billion annually for the education of our children were legal and used for the purpose provided are not conducted.

Amen Jack!  I am dying for these questions to be heard.  But I fear we will only hear the empty vacuum of space on this.

Audit Investigation Of Sussex Tech Slams District Over $4 Million In Shady Construction Deals

Delaware State Auditor Tom Wagner’s office just released an audit investigation of Sussex Technical School District.  Construction deals that did not meet Delaware State Code began with a bus parking lot for almost $206,000 and continued with over $4 million dollars with the same company.  Wagner’s report, which can be seen below, found this to be very egregious.  Common Sense Solutions, a construction company owned by Michael Horsey, made a whirlwind of profit from contracts that were not procured by the State of Delaware as required by the law.

The report, in its conclusion, stated the following:

CSS turned their original HS Bus Entrance CM contract of $205,699 into nearly $4,000,000 in payments  by piggybacking the HS HVAC Systems, HS Instructional Shops, and District Office Renovations  projects onto the original CM contract with Sussex Tech as well as providing other services to the District that were not subject to any contract or required State approvals.

Any attempts at resolving the ongoing situation by district employees was met with firm resistance according to the report:

Through various interviews with employees at Sussex Tech, it has been stated that each time someone  began questioning the payments made to CSS, they were pushed out of the decision-making and payment approval processes.

Once again we have a Delaware school district or charter school where serious financial abuse and conflicts of interest are a higher priority than the education of children.  Once again, why are we NOT getting annual audits of ALL school districts as required by Delaware State Code?