Saturday, April 11, 2009

Former Attorney General Requested State Board of Accounts Audit of ESC Bids Last Year

Maybe the former Attorney General deserves a little more credit than I was willing to give earlier. According to the March 14, 2008 board minutes for the Wabash Valley Educational Service Center, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, former Attorney General Steve Carter requested that the State Board of Accounts investigate and conduct an audit of Indiana's Educational Service Center bids.

This coincides with the time frame that taxpayers were meeting with high ranking state officials regarding ongoing complaints about the illegal bidding scheme that ESC's and school corporations were engaging in. It sounds like Steve Carter took our complaints more seriously than first thought. I can only wish he would have taken it more seriously four years ago since the scheme continued unabated for several years after he was first made aware of the situation.

The problem with the efforts in focusing on bidding at the state level, though, is that the investigation needs to focus largely on the national AEPA since that's where the roofing scheme originated and the so-called "bids" are let. These national meetings are held twice a year at varying places around the country. Our state has no jurisdiction over criminal activities that may be occuring in Nevada, or anyplace else where they are approving these so-called bids.

The investigation needs to start with the most recent allegations of bid rigging that occurred in Phoenix, Arizona. The state AEPA entities are pawns and accomplices in an elaborate scheme to rip off taxpayers. This is why we need a federal investigation as well as one at the state level. This scheme involves over 20 states and varying legal jurisdictions within those states. It's a tangled web that will require cooperation from many local, state, and federal government agencies, but since the big scheme involves potentially billions of tax dollars, it's an investigation that will be well worth the time, money, and effort.

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