Wednesday, August 8, 2018

GULEN FRAUD IN OAKLAND: BayTech Charter School Under Investigation | East Bay Express

BayTech Charter School Under Investigation | East Bay Express

BayTech Charter School Under Investigation 
The principal suddenly resigned after the school's board accused him of fraud, but the controversy raises questions about the school's links to the Gülen movement.


Just before the end of the last school year, the principal of Oakland's Bay Area Technology School, Hayri Hatipoglu, suddenly resigned. At least four other senior staff and two of the charter school's five board members also abruptly quit. As a result, the organization was thrown into chaos. And then Hatipoglu disappeared. According to several sources, he left the country with his family for Australia, where he is a citizen.
Afterwards, the Oakland Unified School District, which is responsible for overseeing the BayTech charter school, opened an investigation. BayTech's three remaining board members also hired an independent party to carry out their own internal review.
While OUSD and BayTech have both attempted to keep the mini-crisis under wraps, the Express has learned that BayTech's three remaining board members are accusing Hatipoglu of defrauding the school. They allege that Hatipoglu surreptitiously changed his employment contract to provide himself with three years' worth of severance pay totaling about $450,000, an unusually large sum for a small school with an annual budget of approximately $3 million. His previous contract provided for only six months of severance pay, a standard in the education sector.
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"We believe he changed his contract," said BayTech board member Fatih Dagdelen in a recent interview. "According to his contract, he'd get paid a six-months salary if he resigned, but all of a sudden his contract said he'd get paid two-and-a-half years further."
As to why Hatipoglu resigned, Dagdelen declined to say, but he added, "we have a lot of evidence and believe there's a fraud."
Hatipoglu has countered that he did nothing wrong. Instead, he alleges that Dagdelen and two other BayTech board members are part of a "shady network" trying to "take over" the school.
In an unusual and unsolicited email to the Express sent on June 28, Hatipoglu wrote that the school's Turkish board members conspired to punish him for his decision to break ties with a Southern California-based nonprofit. The nonprofit, Accord Institute, happens to be controlled by the followers of a powerful Turkish imam who leads a global Islamic political force called the Gülen movement.
Founded in the 1970s by the religious leader Fethullah Gülen, the Gülen movement is an Islamic-inspired social and political force that Continue reading: BayTech Charter School Under Investigation | East Bay Express

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