Friday, July 21, 2017

Livermore charter schools accused of misuse of public funds

Livermore charter schools accused of misuse of public funds:

Charter schools accused of misuse of public funds in Livermore audit

LIVERMORE — An audit released Thursday suggests Livermore’s two charter schools misappropriated public funds, including a tax-exempt bond totaling $67 million, and mainly pointed the finger at former CEO Bill Batchelor.
The audit was ordered by the Alameda County Office of Education in November and conducted by the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team (FCMAT).
Analysis shows that the Tri-Valley Learning Corporation, which oversees the charter schools: Failed to disclose numerous conflict-of-interest relationships; diverted, commingled and/or misappropriated public funds, including tax-exempt public bonds totaling over $67 million with various private entities; and contributed to an environment of significantly deficient internal controls, according to a county statement.
“The lack of internal controls coupled with financing schemes designed to divert millions of dollars by Batchelor and others through relationships fostered between board members, close associates and other professionals with his nonprofit public and private companies created an environment that made it possible for the essential elements of fraud to occur,” the report states.

The audit states that internal controls were “so weak” that Batchelor was able to divert $2.7 million of public charter school funds without any supporting documents, covering a span of five years.

Nathan Ballard, Batchelor’s spokesman, maintained Batchelor’s innocence.
“Mr. Batchelor is innocent of any wrongdoing, and this audit doesn’t change that fact. He is just seeing the audit for the first time, but one thing is clear: Its conclusions are vague and are based a series of inaccurate assumptions,” Ballard said.
The audit revealed that Batchelor controlled to some degree eight different entities at once during the time that a 2015 bond was issued for TVLC.
TVLC and California Preparatory Academy went before the Alameda County Board of Livermore charter schools accused of misuse of public funds:

Latest News and Comment from Education