The Smear Campaign At The Delaware Auditor’s Office & What The News Journal Didn’t Tell You
Revenge is ugly business. When it takes place at a very high state level and the object of that revenge gets a whole article about it in the state’s biggest newspaper, it is really ugly.
Today, James Fisher and Matthew Albright published an article about the Auditor of Accounts, Kathleen Davies. The article claims Davies was put on leave over two months ago due to not using the state procurement card for travel expenses. According to the story, sources who would only be named as “state employees” contacted the Office of Management and Budget, then run by Ann Visalli, in November of 2015. They alleged Davies spent over $7700 in travel expenses (over four years) and received personal reimbursements instead of using the state p-card. She did do this. But was it wrong? Absolutely not. I’m not buying any of this. Let’s take a close look at what else was going on at the time these “sources” (as the News Journal calls them) filed this complaint.
Davies had just come out with a report on many charter schools, not just Delaware College Prep (the only school mentioned in the article). Kuumba Academy was also named in the report on personal reimbursements as using funds against the accounting policies of the state. Two other charters did not have any inappropriate use of state funds: Odyssey Charter School and Thomas Edison Charter School.
But there was more going on at that time. The reports on Family Foundations Academy and Providence Creek Academy had not come out yet. The September 30th enrollment inspection was just beginning (which was published earlier this Spring and pulled from State Auditor Tom Wagner’s website after Davies was put on leave). Another Delaware charter school, The Delaware Met, was under formal review. Hearings and meetings with the Charter School Accountability Committee took place in November and December of 2015. One of the big questions surrounding Delaware Met was how they were spending their money. And by default, their operation management company, Innovative Schools, would also be looked at.
There was also an inspection released by Davies on December 7th. This surrounded an anonymous tip about Delaware Department of Education employees abusing travel expenses. No wrongdoing was found in the inspection report. But why would the News Journal not mention such an important part of this timeline in their article as well as the actual inspection? If this accusation by sources who have now become “whistleblowers” was made to the OMB in November of 2015, this would have been the same time when Davies would have been working on the DOE travel expense report which came out on December 7th. The timing on this is uncanny!
If it took six months for Davies to be put on leave, what was the OMB doing for six months? Why did Davies just happen to be put on leave at the same time the DOE was pitching a conniption fit about the September 30th Inspection Report written by Davies? The report, published by Wagner’s office on May 5th,can be found here. Why did Wagner pull the report which had absolutely nothing to do with her supposed reasons for being put on leave? Which other The Smear Campaign At The Delaware Auditor’s Office & What The News Journal Didn’t Tell You – Exceptional Delaware: