If details provided in a 2004 Arizona Auditor General's report of the Mohave Educational Service Center (MESC) has a familiar ring to it, perhaps it's because one of the names associated with the ESC is also one of the original agency representatives of the Nevada-based Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies (AEPA).
Jim Migliorino was listed as the Executive Director for the MESC in its Articles of Incorporation dated March, 2004, which was the same year the Auditor General's investigatory report was released. The audit covered the period for July 1997 through June 2001. Migliorino was also involved in the AEPA when it was first formed in 2000.
The AEPA has come under recent fire after receiving public scrutiny from taxpayers and public officials in various states. Most recently, it was the subject of an audit conducted by the Indiana State Board of Accounts into the Wilson Education Center, a member of the AEPA. Larry Risk, former Executive Director of the WEC, was also a founding member of the AEPA and one of its original incorporaters. According to AEPA meeting reports, Risk and Migliorino worked together for many years starting ten years ago when the AEPA was formed as an unincorporated entity.
An excerpt from the Arizona investigative report reads, "Our investigation revealed that from July 1997 through June 2001, Mohave Educational Services Cooperative (MESC) consistently failed to follow procurement rules and did not provide an economic value for its members. In addition, MESC charges its members inequitably and conducts improper financial practices. We submitted our findings to the Attorney General’s Office in July 2003, and corrective legal action by the Attorney General against MESC is pending."
After the Arizona Attorney and Auditor Generals initiated the investigation into the business practices of the MESC, officials for the service center reportedly restructured the organization to comply with state laws and procurement rules.
Ironically, the Arizona investigation was launched about the same time the AEPA and WEC came under fire in Indiana for some its questionable business practices. One would think that a few lessons should have been learned along the way, but it appears that what didn't work in one state was eventually tried in another.
It's time for the house of cards to take a full tumble.