The Sweepers — Part 2

At last night’s GASD board meeting, we see how the board tries to end-around any public discussion of the audit findings– they convene in executive session.

Clearly, dealing with resignation and the personnel side of the finance manager absolutely requires an executive session. I have no qualms with that.

What I have qualms with is the larger issue of the board’s governance and their seeming unwillingness to  confront the deliberate effort to misinform and misrepresent the facts to the public, to the board and even to NYS Auditors. If the board feels this issue should be addressed in executive session, then they are violating the provisions of the Open Meeting Law as this discussion mandates discussion outside of executive session as most aspects of this discussion do not involve ‘personnel matters’ but policy matters. On the other hand, if they did not address or will not address the issue — for which I do not see any evidence that they have or will– then they are fallling short in their governance requirements. Either way, the board falls short of its responsibilities.  Sweep, sweep, …

Let me challenge the board to address this new revelation to the public (from the Recorder article):

Comptroller’s office spokesman William Reynolds said Tuesday the computer “simply wouldn’t turn on.

The specialist removed the hard drive from the computer and attempted to use alternative methods to retrievedata, such as supplying other power sources and using a different reading device, Reynolds said, but these didn’t work, either.

“He could not determine how it was destroyed, but that all attempts to read data on the drive failed, leading him to believe the drive was useless, inoperable, destroyed,” he said. “DiNapoli’s auditors told the superintendent about the matter, and according to them, he was unaware of this fact and indicated he could not explain how this occurred.”

As a board member and/or  audit committee member of the GASD,  the state auditors just told you that a deliberate effort was made to destroy information requested by the NYS auditors to be preserved. The key word here is ‘destroyed’.  Not my word, the state auditors word. The new finding is even more troubling than the initial report as it shows a deliberate act of destruction of school district property by an employee of the district.  Does this matter to the board?

Given the new finding and previous finding, I see not a word from any board member on the issue.

I’m expecting to hear a sweeping sound yet again but I’m naively optimistic that perhaps the board will recognize that they have a responsibility to the public to delve into these troubling details of how their administration and/or staff sought to compromise the findings of the state auditors and deliberately misrepresent the audit to the public as well. I guess I’m asking the board to make good on their propaganda promises of “making tough choices”, “looking out for the taxpayer”, “doing what’s best for our children”.

I already hear the collective yawn of the public on this post and issue…

Disclosure: I look forward to more derision, contempt and name-calling directed my way from current and past board members given these  posts. It’s never them; it’s always me who is the problem. Obviously.

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