Tuesday, January 27, 2015

APS School Board Member chairs really did cost taxpayers a bundle

In 2007, the "leadership" of the APS was about building for themselves, a fancy new board room in the bowels of their castle keep at 6400 Uptown Blvd.

Though there were real needs elsewhere for the capital funds they spent at 6400 Uptown, they built an utterly unjustifiable board room and went over budget.

I was informed that they paid more than $800 dollars a piece for the leather chairs behind the dais.  I have been trying ever since, to find out if the report was true.

I even asked APS Supt Winston Brooks during a press conference, if the report was true.

He became very upset at the question but promised me the truth "by noon".

I'm still waiting.

When APS hosted the candidate forum in the John Milne Community Board Room, I found myself randomly and ironically, sitting in Marty Esquivel's seat. I was able to obtain a model number from the bottom of a chair.

I contacted the manufacturer/dealer to inquire about the cost of the chair and was told;
The 5252 part number belongs to the Leader Upholstered chair. Unfortunately this chair has been discontinued but I can recommend the Leader Knit chair or the ReAlign chair as a replacement.
Those two fabric chairs before taxes run $950 to $1,212 for the Leader Knit, and $657 for the ReAlign, link.

APS Interim Supt Brad Winter will not tell us how much he paid for the chairs board members sit in twice a month for two hours.  At this point, $800 looks low.  Winter may have personally authorized a thousand dollars a piece for those chairs when at the same time, students at Susie Rayos Marmon Elementary School were attending classes in worn out portables with leaking roofs.

Winter steadfastly refuses to produce a candid, forthright an honest accounting of spending at 6400 Uptown.

Millions of dollars were spent sprucing up the twins.  They were spent at a time when auditors found in the APS Financial Department;
  1. inadequate standards
  2. inadequate accountability to such standards as there were, and
  3. inadequate record keeping
the trifecta of public corruption, embezzlement and fraud.

The Journal steadfastly refuses to investigate and report upon credible allegations and evidence of an ethics, standards and accountability crisis in the leadership of the APS.

Even in the face of a school board election and the hiring of Winter's replacement.

To their everlasting shame.

photos Mark Bralley

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