Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Half of APS' budget deficit due to $20M "accounting errors".

APS is projecting a budget shortfall of $43M next year.
Half of the deficit is due to accounting errors.

In the Journal this morning, link, the accounting error aspect was downplayed. APS' Chief Financial Officer Dupuy Bateman was allowed to explain it all away with;

"It was some very smart people who made an honest error and did it the same way the following year."
Within the last two years, an audit by Meyners + Co. revealed that APS' Financial Department did not have;
  • adequate standards, or
  • adequate accountability to the standards it did have, and
  • was not keeping adequate records.
And that, they never did have them, link.

Likely, millions of dollars have been either lost or stolen. APS has refused several requests to estimate the losses due to the administrative failures. They also refuse to respond when asked if the auditors found any criminal misconduct.

During the last two years, one CFO resigned under the cloud of a cover up, link, and her replacement was fired a couple of months later because he was spending his days in porn shops and casinos rather than tracking down the accounting errors that have cost the district nearly $20M in this case alone, link.

Through this all, the leadership of the APS steadfastly refuses to allow an independent review of administrative standards and accountability.

School Board President
Marty Esquivel
once not only
admitted to the need for an
independent review, but
argued publicly, in favor of it.

He argued in favor until
Board Member Paula Maes
informed him that she would
never agree to any audit that
individually identifies corrupt
and/or incompetent administrators or board members.

Now, he won't talk about it at all.

Nor, will he allow anyone else to talk openly and honestly about APS administrative standards and accountability, link.

The Journal; Andrea Schoellkopf, was offered a DVD record of Maes' boast, and offered that while she might be willing to add it to her file, she had no interest in investigating the story or reporting upon it.

The Journal also has zero interest in following up on their own story about felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators, link, or the fact that three years later, long after statutes of limitation have expired, APS is still has not surrendered to the District Attorney, the evidence of that criminal misconduct.

Nor will they report upon the abdication of the entire leadership of the APS, as role models of the APS Student Standards of Conduct.

Nor will they report upon APS' refusal to surrender a candid, forthright and honest accounting of spending at 6400 Uptown Blvd.

Nor will they investigate and report upon the fraud in APS' Fraud, Waste and Abuse whistleblower hotline.

The Journal has denied voters the truth about a widespread and deeply rooted ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS, even through school board elections, mill levy elections, and bond issue elections.

At best, it is journalistic malpractice. The Journal is supposed to be a newspaper of record. That implies that they will furnish voters with the truth they need to participate meaningfully in decisions that affect their interests.

The Journal has betrayed the trust that has been placed in them.

The final victims; 89,000 of this community's sons and
daughters who are students in the APS who will see their good
teachers laid off, class sizes increase, and supply budgets dwindle.


Anonymous said...

Have you ever passed on your info. to the investigative reporters with our local TV media?

ched macquigg said...

On many occasions. They steadfastly refuse to investigate or report upon the ethics and accountability scandal in the APS.

There are many ties between the leadership of the APS and the heavy hitters in the local media.

Paula Maes, for example, is a school board member and also the President of the New Mexico Broadcasters Assoc.

Can't imagine one of their member broadcasters doing a story on how Maes will never agree to an honest audit of APS' administrative standards and accountability.

ched macquigg said...

And of course, Marty Esquivel is KRQE's lawyer. How would it look if they reported that their own lawyer is behaving unethically.

Anonymous said...

KRQE actually does more in-depth TV reporting on APS than almost anyone, in my opinion.
If push comes to shove, they would report on Esquivel, if there was solid proof of illegal activity. He's on their leash, being paid by them. They can always send him to the kennel and get another dog to play lawyer.
In my personal experience, many of the people at KRQE want to better the community, and they hesitate to report on unsubstantiated reports, especially when people's reps are at stake. I think that is responsible behavior.
Thanks for reading.