Friday, April 27, 2012

Clinton Prairie School Superitendent Exposed in State Audit for Spending Tax Dollars Illegally

Another day, another Indiana school superintendent caught helping himself to tax dollars that don't belong to him.  This time the white collar crimes took place in a small farming community in Clinton County near Frankfort, Indiana, where media watchdogs are virtually non-existent.  Former school board member and farmer, Jim Fisher, Sr., had asked state auditors to look into questionable spending practices in the past.  Perhaps his persistence has finally paid off. 

While some taxpayers in the school district were struggling to make ends meet, Superintendent Charles Fink was taking a limousine ride from a restaurant to a hotel at taxpayer expense during a tax-funded trip to San Francisco.  State auditors also discovered that Fink and three school board members stayed a few extra days at taxpayer expense even though there was no school business to conduct.

In addition, Fink also took $3,000 for mileage reimbursement fees that he was not entitled to.

Seven funds were overdrawn to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, including the Capital Projects Fund for a total of $749,329.  Some of the money was illegally used for the salaries of Extra-Curricular Treasurers in violation of state law.

These were just a few items noted in a recent audit report for the Clinton Prairie School District.  You can access the audit report at this link.

"We noted several deficiencies in the internal control system of the School Corporation related to financial transactions and reporting," began the ten page report. 

Here are other excerpts from the report:

TRAVEL TO SCHOOL BOARD ASSOCIATION MEETING

In reviewing travel disbursements during the audit period, we noted instances where the expenses did not appear to be reasonable or necessary.  The Superintendent of Schools and three School Board of Trustees members attended a School Board Association meeting in San Francisco in April 2011.  Although the registration stated that the meeting began on April 9th and ended on April 11th, three of the Board members flew in on April 7 and were paid $50 per diem for April 8th on which no meetings were held.  The Superintendent of Schools arrived on April 8th and remained until April 13 and received $50 per diem for April 12th when no meetings were held.  The total additional cost for these payments was $200.  Through the use of the corporate credit card the School Corporation paid for hotel rooms at $248.50 per night for those days when no meetings were being held resulting in a total additional cost of $994.  (Three Board members hotel charge on April 7th at $248.50 per night and the Superintendent's hotel charge on April 12th at $248.50 per night)

Imagine Supertintendent Fink riding in a limo at taxpayer expense
During the San Francisco trip, the Superintendent of Schools was reimbursed $100 for the rental of a limousine for transportation from the hotel to a restaurant.  In addition, one Board member was reimbursed $359.38 for mileage to Chicago, a hotel stay in Chicago, and transportation from that hotel to the airport so he could fly to San Francisco for the meeting.  There was no documentation presented for audit that any School Corporation business was conducted in Chicago during that trip.  We also noted instances where reimbursement were paid without the actual receipt provided.

FEES

The School Corporation, at the time of charging and collecting textbook rental fees, requires other fees to be paid including, but not limited to, Convocation Fees, Report Card Fees, Postage Fees, Processing Fees, and Technology Fees.  The School Corporation officials could not always provide documentation to verify students received consumable goods or services equal to the fee charged...

TEXTBOOK RENTAL CALCULATIONS

The Elementary School is charging more than 25 percent of the actual cost of the textbook annually.

OVERDRAWN FUND BALANCES

Debt Services ($337,327)
Capital Projects ($749,329
Transportation ($336,229)
Bus Replacement ($336229)
Preschool ($141,561)
Retirement ($29,830)
Textbook Rental ($20,700)

PROMOTIONAL APPROPRIATIONS

In reviewing disbursements paid by the School Corporation's credit card, we noted numerous payments for meals at local restaurants and food purchases for meetings.  We noted other disbursements for retirement gifts and meals....

There's more, but the bottom line is that this is all illegal.  This is NOT for the children.  This is stealing from the children.  Taxpayers should demand repayment and accountability.   Will the local prosecutor be bold enough to take on this challenge?

Kara Kenney, this story has your name written all over it.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lugar Re-Visits the Scene of the Crime

Lugar re-visits the scene of the crime.

 
Guest editorial by

By: Callum Dalgliesh

Senator Lugar held a press conference at the Marott Hotel on April 25th promising a knockout punch against Mourdock. He attempted to make the case that he was more conservative than Mourdock by digging up irrelevant information from 1992; however, according to the media, Lugar was unsuccessful.

But, there is an old story about the Marott Hotel in 1992 that Lugar would NOT have told us about at his April 25th press conference. Ask him about it and watch him pivot and look for the door. He he he.

In 1992, Lugar was chairman of the Senate Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, and the Marott had fallen on hard times perhaps headed for the wrecking ball. The Indianapolis HUD office had turned down a request for money to renovate the hotel. Did I mention that the request had been made by a Lugar political supporter? True.

Right after the Indianapolis HUD office rejected the request, the local HUD Director was removed, and another Lugar campaign contributor was appointed to take over. She and her husband routinely contributed to Lugar’s campaign coffers, and she later told Newsday magazine that she was instructed by the regional HUD officers to approve the $13 million loan immediately.

Read the complete story of this and other examples of Lugar’s political corruption at: http://www.buyingofthepresident.org/index.php/archives/1996/54/

If you want to change Washington D.C., you will not be successful if you continue to send the same old Liberals and RINO politicians.





Ogden for Judge - Biography

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Complaint Filed With Federal Election Commission Against Senator Lugar

Senator Richard Lugar's troubles got bigger this week after a formal complaint and request for investigation was filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Will Dick Lugar be forced to answer to the FEC?
"This letter is for the purpose of filing a complaint and requesting an investigation of possible illegal use of government funds for political travel by U.S. Senator Richard Lugar," read the opening line of a letter dated April 4, 2012, written and filed by Indianapolis resident and Certified Fraud Examiner Greg Wright.

"As you can see from the attached news articles, Senator Lugar has recently admitted that his Senate office improperly paid for thousands of dollars of hotel stay that he incurred in the State of Indiana due to the fact that he does not maintain a residence in the state he represents in the Senate.  He also admitted that it is possible that this 'error' may extend all the way back to 1978, the year he took office.

In addition to the implications under Senate Ethics rules, I believe there may also be campaign finance law violations involved as well.  As you can see from the enclosed memo dated March 22, 2012, much of the government paid travel for which Senator Lugar was reimbursed with official funds over the past two years related to trips back to Indiana from Washington, D.C. which appeared to coincide with widely publicized political fundraising events for Senator Lugar's re-election campaign.

I respectfully request that the Federal Election Commission investigate Senator Lugar's official travel and determine whether his campaign must reimburse the federal government for all or part of the travel related to these and other political events."

It will be interesting to see how Lugar's friends and political allies in the lamestream media spin this one should the FEC decide to move forward with an investigation.  I can only imagine if Charlie White had done the things Lugar has done when it comes to breaking rules and laws.  There would likely be another crucifixtion to read about during this Easter season.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

State Audit Reveals MSD Washington Township Illegally Spent Over a Million Dollars for Securatex Contract

Where is Jim Mervilde?
Does anyone know where former MSD Washington Township Superintendent Jim Mervilde is hiding these days?  If so, he needs to answer for the illegal actions of school officials while under his watch.  Some are now wondering if Mervilde chose an early retirement rather than face the heat that he likely knew was coming.

The audit results are in, and as this blogger reported earlier, the school district  illegally spent over a million dollars for Securatex security services, leaving the district vulnerable to potential lawsuits from taxpayers.  This blogger had earlier discovered that Securatex was operating without a valid contract and brought it to the attention of state auditors. 

In addition, state auditors concluded that the school district paid $1,255,524 for the security services from the district's Capital Projects Fund, monies that are to be used exclusively "for the construction, repair, replacement, remodeling, or maintenance of a school facility..and may not exceed five percent (5%) of the property tax revenues levied for teh fund in the calendar year."

Former school board member Greg Wright attempted to warn Mervilde and fellow school board members of the illegality; however, the warnings fell on deaf ears. The largely rubber stamp school board members were complicit in the wrongdoing, and they should be required to answer for such blatant mismanagement.

Along with an array of other illegalities, the audit report also revealed that North Central High School students were charged parking fees and assessed fines even though the school board never approved the fees, which totaled $53,239.07 for the 2010-2011 school year.  Will students be reimbursed for the illegal and unconstitutional confiscation of student money?

"Fees should only be collected as specifically authorized by statute or properly authorized resolutions or ordinances, as applicable, which are not contrary to statutory or Constitutional provisions," read a portion of the audit report.

Once again, Greg Wright was right.  How long will taxpayers tolerate the rubber stamp school board at MSD Washington Township?