Good Old Boys Designate GPS Admins as “Vendors” in Cash Giveaway

bigbucksEXPOSED: the bitter dregs of the Good Old Boys made cash gifts to 100 selected GPS administrators in the amount of $350.00 each at the end of June, 2014. It appears that the GOBs intended to go out with a bang, and this bang cost $35,000.00 of taxpayers’ money with absolutely no benefit for students. We’re still trying to figure out who authorized this cute little trick just a month before the new school year was to begin. All we’ve found so far is a circular firing squad.

Let’s connect the dots: we found that the Good Old Boys gave away that cash just before the new superintendent, Dr. Christina Kishimoto, ascended to her new perch. Recall that interim superintendent Jim Rice boasted that he was collaborating closely with Her Newness before she arrived. Also recall that there have been disagreements among previous superintendents and board members about the superintendent’s power to spend and how much could be spent without the board’s approval. It’s significant that the so-called board ratification of this $35,000.00 expenditure occurred (or did not occur) on Kishimoto’s watch.

Here’s what the GOBs did: they made 100 full-time GPS administrative employees *VENDORS* and gave them each $350.00. The GOBs just gave that money away, with no reason shown on the line items. The green bar report (the densely packed Excel spreadsheet showing expenditures that the financial lackeys provide for the board clerk to review) show 100 individual payments of $350.00 to individually-named admins. There might be more; some of the line items were wrapped into other payments/reimbursements to administrators. We could have missed some payments to lucky administrators. Those we found are named at the bottom of this post.

Before anyone says, “But the Governing Board authorized those expenditures,” we have some more revelations about this shenanigan. The web page where GPS Business Services links to these Excel spreadsheets (and touts their transparency) attempts to provide cover for some of the nefarious stunts needed to pull off this gift of public funds to 100 selected GPS employees. The spreadsheet for the data is titled, “Paid through June 25, 2014 for ratification on July 8, 2014. Vouchers 4218-4226.xlsx, 330.80 KB.   (Last Modified on July 9, 2014.) You can see the spreadsheet for yourself by clicking the link.

What’s important is that the GPS Governing Board DID NOT RATIFY those expenses in the July 8, 2014 board meeting. As far as we can tell, even if GPS intended for the board to approve expenditures, that approval was not on the agenda and it was not mentioned in the minutes of that meeting. Business as usual for the GOBs, right? There’s more, you know.

Even if the Governing Board had approved the expenditures as the spreadsheet link would have you believe, the spreadsheet was altered AFTER the July 8, 2014 meeting. Even if, and it’s a big IF, the Governing Board was given the Excel spreadsheet for the express purpose of approving GPS expenditures, there is no way to know what information they were given, once the spreadsheet was changed AFTER the board meeting. It’s annotated right there on the Business Services web page, and it’s also shown on the document properties for the spreadsheet.

Would it surprise anyone to learn that GPS GOBs tampered with evidence? We can’t think of any other way to explain why data was changed after the date it was supposedly presented to an elected board for approval. Wouldn’t you think that this data was a public record that was required to be archived along with the minutes of the board meeting? Isn’t it interesting that the shenanigan occurred AFTER Dr. Kishimoto’s ascendency to the superintendency?

We’ll explore in another post how that $35,000.00 could have been used for line item expenditures for students that have been cut from the GPS budget.  In the meantime, take a look at the evidence for yourself. We linked to the green bar report from the GPS website. (We will share a fully functional Excel spreadsheet, if the one online should *disappear.*) The spreadsheet opens with the bottom part of the file showing on screen; use the side elevator bar to go to the top of the spreadsheet. To see the information we found, click on the tab, “Enable Editing” in the yellow bar at the top of your screen.  You can’t review all the data without that click.

Click on the very first entry to “plus up” the information: 001 GENERAL MAINT & OPERATION.  You can scroll down the list as presented, or you can sort on Column B to show various lines in ascending or descending amounts. The amount you’re interested in is $350.00 and thereabouts. If you don’t sort on Column B, scroll down the entries in Column A to line 38, “Domonic Salce” (that name is spelled wrong, but he was the only Salce dude on the GPS payroll). He’s listed first for no particular reason that we can divine. Notice that there’s nothing more than a name visible, with the amount $350.00. The fun and games start when you click on Line 38, Column A (or wherever Dominic Salce’s name appears).

When you select the line and hover over it, you see the legend “(VENDOR)” — which unlocks the scheme to enrich 100 GPS employees, apparently in violation of Constitution of the State of Arizona.  [See Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) Const. Art. IX, §7—Prohibits gifts of public monies, including donations or loans of public money to private individuals or organizations.]  Showing this was no mere “mistake,” we helpfully downloaded an AZ Auditor General Fraud Alert on this very subject, which shows that AZ public school districts had been warned just last year to keep their fingers out of the public cookie jar. As the Fraud Alert says, the last time two school districts got caught, there were Grand Juries and indictments; maybe that can happen here. GPS seems to be keeping the Gilbert Police Department pretty busy these days!

The Arizona Procurement Code and GPS policies govern who, what, how, when, etc. about contracting, which is overseen by Budget and Procurement Coordinator, Crystal Korpan. Of course, without an Internal Auditor looking over the books, what were the chances that anyone would ever notice $35,000.00 in gifts to public employees VENDORS?  The scheme to make a gift of $350.00 to 100 different administrators in GPS might have been caught sooner if the Internal Auditor position still existed. Recall that the Internal Auditor position was abolished to “save money” when Good Old Clyde Dangerfield and Jeff Filloon promoted Crystal Korpan from Purchasing Manager to Budget and Procurement Coordinator, gaining a sweet bump in her paycheck along the way. The position Crystal Korpan held previously, Purchasing Manager, also was abolished. Recall that during the Special Board Meeting on August 5, 2014, Dr. Christina Kishimoto volunteered information about two positions in Business Services being combined to “save money” by filling the Purchasing Manager position again. The fact is, the person selected for the job had already been working before the board was presented with the Consent Agenda. It’s always something, smoke and mirrors, with the Good Old Boys. Either the new superintendent is with them completely, or they pulled the wool over her eyes … again.

There is a District Policy about Vendor Relations, at  DJG-E. The policy, or “exhibit” or whatever it is, is straightforward about a purchase order being a contract for goods or services:

7. Offer, Acceptance and Modification
This purchase order constitutes an offer made by Gilbert Public Schools (Buyer) to Vendor (Seller) to enter into the purchase agreement herein described. Seller’s acceptance shall be indicated by the prompt shipment of goods described, or the prompt performance of services or work described. Buyer reserves the right to revoke or modify this offer. None of the terms and conditions contained in this purchase order may be added to, modified, superseded or otherwise altered except by written authorization of the Purchasing Department. If the goods or services described in this order are the subject of a contract awarded by the Buyer through competitive bidding, or are the subject of a separate contract for services entered into by an authorized representative of the district, then such contracts, together with this purchase order, form the contract and they are as fully a part of the contract as if hereto attached or repeated.

Of course, if the $350.00 per person was a reimbursement to a GPS employee, a different policy would have been in effect. That does not seem to be the case here, but the relevant District policy shows that GPS knew about the prohibition of gifts or donations to individuals:

DKC EXPENSE AUTHORIZATION
In compliance with Article 9, Section 7 of the Arizona State Constitution which precludes gifts or donations of public funds to individuals, associations or corporations the Governing Board recognizes there are certain purchases that meet a public purpose and the public value of such is not far exceeded by the amount being paid. The superintendent shall develop regulations authorizing such Board recognized expenditures.

EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT

District employees who incur expenses in carrying out their authorized duties shall be reimbursed by the District upon submission of allowable supporting receipts, provided that prior authorization has been granted by the Superintendent.

District employees who must travel in conjunction with their jobs shall be eligible for reimbursement for the total allowable amount per mile per Arizona Revised Statutes.

Reimbursement amounts shall not exceed the maximums established pursuant to A.R.S. 38-624.

Here’s a law making this kind of shenanigan a Class 4 Felony:

A. R. S. §35-301. Duties and liabilities of custodian of public monies; violations; classification

A public officer or other person, including justices of the peace and constables, charged with the receipt, safekeeping, transfer or disbursement of public money is guilty of a class 4 felony who:

1. Without authority of law, appropriates it, or any portion thereof, to his own use, or to the use of another.
2. Knowingly loans it, or any portion thereof.
3. Knowingly fails to keep it in his possession until disbursed or paid out by authority of law.
4. Without authority of law knowingly deposits it, or any portion thereof, in a bank, or with a banker or other person, except on special deposit for safekeeping.
5. Knowingly keeps a false account, or makes a false entry or erasure in an account of, or relating to it.
6. Alters, falsifies, conceals, destroys or obliterates such an account with an intent to defraud or deceive.
7. Knowingly refuses or omits to pay over, on demand, public monies in his hands, upon presentation of a draft, order or warrant drawn upon such monies by competent authority.
8. Knowingly omits or refuses to transfer the money when a transfer is required by law.
9. Knowingly transfers the money when not authorized or directed by law.
10. Knowingly omits or refuses to pay over to an officer or person authorized by law to receive it, any money received by him when a duty is imposed by law to pay over the money.

You know we have more. Until our next post, chirp, chirp!

****************************************************************

 Below: The 100 select GPS admins who received $350.00 as *vendors.* The names in red show employees who had submitted resignations before these payments were made; their resignations, in general, were effective June 30, 2014. Jim Pacek’s name has an asterisk because he had resigned and then was approved by the board to go back to being a classroom teacher prior to receiving this sweetheart deal.

ADAM STROCK
AMY GINGELL
AMY MULLIKEN
ANDREA EMERICK
ANDREW SZCZEPANIAK
ARICK BASQUES
BETH NICKEL
BILL ROTH
BRAD PAES
BRADLEY SHEPSTEAD
BRANDIE HARRIS
BRIAN JAEGER
BRIAN YEE
CARL NAISANT
CAROLINE CHILTON
CHAD FITZGERALD
CHARLES PETTIT
CHRISTOPHER BIRGEN
CHRISTOPHER STROUD
COLIN KELLY
CRYSTAL KORPAN
DALE LUNT
DAN COOMBS
DAN HOOD
DANIEL HAASCH
DANIEL JOHNSON
DARRELL STANGLE
DEBBIE MCCARRON
DEBRA LYNCH
DOMONIC SALCE
DOROTHY A MIDDAUGH
DOUG DALEY
ELIZA BRUNNER
ELIZABETH BAKER
ELIZABETH MCCOY
FRANCES J GROSSENBACHER
GEANE FLOURNOY
HEATHER SCHLEMMER
JACK BLANCHARD
JAMES FISHER
JAMES LAVIN
JANE HECKER
JARED RYAN
JASON GRANTHAM
JASON MARTIN
JAY MORRIS
JEAN WOODS
JENNIFER CORRY
JENNIFER GREENE
JENNIFER MERRILL
JENNIFER MURPHY
JIM PACEK*
JOAN HENRY
JODI WARNER
JODIE DEAN
JOHN MAAS
JOYCE MEYER
JULENE ROBBINS
KAREN COLEMAN
KATHRYN MCPHERSON
KELLY HAHN
KEN FETTER
KEVIN RAINEY
KRISTIN ANDERSON
KSHAMA ROSALES
LANCE SMITH
LEONARDO DUMLAO
LINDSAY BINGHAM
LORIE A MILLER
LUCAS BLACKBURN
MARCIE TAYLOR
MARIA PORRAS-GONZALES
MARY TRAFFICANTE
MATTHEW BENNETT
MELINDA MURPHY
MICHAEL DAVIS
MICHAEL HALLOCK
MICHAEL HANSEN
MICHELLE MURPHY
PATRICK MILLER
RAY MERCADO
RENEE REGOLI
ROD HUSTON
RON IZZETT
SAM VALLES
SANDRA UDALL
SARA WORD
SCOTT LYMER
SHARON BOOMER
SHAWN MCINTOSH
SHAWN VARNER
SHIRLEE M BROOKS
STAN PETERSON
STEVE MCDOWELL
SUSAN CADENA
SUSAN KREITZER
TERRY MAURER
TIMOTHY MOSES
VICKI HESTER
VICKI JONES

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