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Friday, February 25, 2011

New at Noon at the Times - Report to the Board

Seattle School Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson and Don Kennedy, the district's chief financial and operations officer, should have done more to ensure that the manager of the district's small-business program wasn't misusing district money, according to the attorney hired to determine who should be held accountable.

This is what the report from the lawyer, Patty Eakes, who the Board hired to investigate the current scandal according to the Times.

She does conclude that MGJ and Kennedy had limited knowledge of the program.

(First, when did she interview the Super? On the phone? Second, every single program is supposed to be in their knowledge base.)

She says:

no evidence that anyone expressed their concerns to MGJ about the program beyond an unfavorable review of the program (somewhat a hilarious statement because really who would go to her? I can't think of anyone who might feel comfortable going to her with the attitude she projects).

MGJ trusted Kennedy to oversee the program and, in turn, he delegated that to Fred Stephens

She says that chain of command led to Kennedy to "missing" the warning signs.

there were no personal services contracts as "hush money" to silence communities about school closures and lack of minority companies working on district projects.

No, I don't think there was hush money but I would allege that Potter was spreading the money around certain communities in order to create relationships that would carry over to his new venture. The circumstances around the payments leads me to wonder if it was a "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" mentality being created.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think we're gonna see that flashy thing from "Men In Black".

(the memory eraser doo-dad that Tommy Lee Jones uses so people don't know they've seen aliens)

FLASH!!

Megan Mc said...

Maria Goodloe-Johnson brought Don Kennedy with her. The board never should have allowed this. As a proper check and balance they should have had an independent person to assure oversight of the finances - especially in the wake of the Olchefsky financial disaster.

I don't care if she though this level of management was beneath her, the fact that she hired Kennedy and he was responsible for financial oversight puts the blame with her. This whole thing smacks of the cronyism that led to the award of the MAP contract.

The board should demand that she fire Kennedy and then they should ask that she resign. The whole legal department should be fired and Ikeda should be prosecuted along with English.

The board was so busy praising MGJ and Kennedy 3 years ago that they never looked behind the thin varnish the district staff was putting on reports. All budget work should be halted until a new CFOO can do a thorough house cleaning. Imagine how much pet money could be returned to the classrooms.

Anonymous said...

The Seattle Times reports "the board is considering firing Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson or buying out her contract"

Jan said...

Plus, Megan -- it is not as though there should now be a horrified, sharp intake of breath at "the very thought" that the finances and operations of the District have been badly mismanaged. The audit clearly flagged the fact that this District is horribly managed. This dreck is exactly the kind of thing that can, and does, happen in mismanaged organizations.

Michael H said...

@Jan: "The audit clearly flagged the fact that this District is horribly managed."

And the audit before that, and the audit before that, and the audit before that, and the audit before that......you get my point.

Jan said...

Ah! And just imagine, if the 5 board members who voted last year to extend MGJ's contract had said -- hmm -- let's not. She still has two years to go. Plenty of time to extend next year, if it is in the District's best interests, after we have seen how the NSAP works out, and how the audit problems get addressed. (Because, recall, they HAD the horrible audit findings before that vote, and they KNEW they had no results from the NSAP. But noooooo, not the fab five (Debell, Carr, Martin-Morris, Meier and Sundquist. They had to go ahead and extend the contract, vastly complicating the math they will have to do now as they (hopefully) remove her.

Here is a question. When did they commission the investigation. If those five voted to extend her contract knowing that there was a fraud investigation underway, it is such a damning indictment of their judgment.