As promised by State Monitor Egan at Tuesday night’s BOE meeting, the financial audit of the Belleville BoE has been released in advance of next Tuesday’s special public meeting. The audit documents were provided so that residents have sufficient time to review them beforehand.
State auditor Jeffrey Bliss will be there to present a report on this audit, and will be available for questions from the public.
Make sure you bring some questions or comments, because this audit report is the culmination of everything the Belleville taxpayer will be on the hook for, thanks to John Rivera, Joe Longo, former superintendent Helene Feldman, and several others. It’s time to sound off on just how you feel about what they did to the school district, the township, and ultimately, your taxes.
The documents were published on the school board website, but I noticed a sharp spike in visitors hitting our blog right after I announced that they were available this afternoon.
So just in case people don’t know where to find them on the website, I’ve uploaded copies here for review.
Comprehensive Annual Financial Report 2013-2014 (181 pages) – If you’re pressed for time, you can begin reading around page 145 for the real disturbing news.
Auditor’s Management Report 2013-2014 (31 pages)
I’m still not finished with my own review of the docs, so if I do provide any commentary, it won’t be until tomorrow or the weekend.
For example, Finding 2014-003 is my favorite entry so far:
“Thirty-one (31) disbursements were either not supported with a vendor invoice, or the supporting documentation was insufficient. Total amount unsupported was $2,143,608.”
Yep, you read that right. Over 2.1 million dollars walked right out the door, without a suitable paper trail. That’s on top of all the inadequately documented millions that went to the Clarity contracts. That gets its own special section in the audit, none of which is the least bit surprising.
Writing out checks from school accounts, payable to “cash”. Using debit cards for school accounts, and making cash withdrawals from ATM’s with no explanation. It’s just page after page of financial mismanagement that from where we’re standing, sure looks a heck of a lot like organized racketeering on an unimaginable scale, with state and federal funds.
The audit speaks for itself. Someone needs to be indicted for this.
Update (1/12/2015): On the eve of the Special Public Meeting of the Board of Education wherein this audit report will be presented to the public by State Auditor Jeffrey Bliss, investigative reporter Walt Kane of News 12 released his own report on the audit findings (briefly featuring yours truly):
Update (1/16/2015): Here is our video coverage of the audit presentation by the State: