WASHINGTON – Three former managers at a D.C. charter school are accused in a lawsuit filed by the D.C. attorney general of diverting millions of dollars sent to the school for their own gain, and a local television news personality is accused of aiding their efforts.
D.C. officials say the managers engaged in a contracting scam that involved creating for-profit companies to provide services to Options Public Charter School in Northeast, The Washington Post reports.
The companies allegedly were paid for duties performed by school employees or services that were not documented, and the school managers received large bonuses, according to court documents.
The Post says WUSA/Channel 9 personality J.C. Hayward — who had been chair of the school’s board of trustees — is accused of approving bonuses and signing contracts awarded to the companies.
Hayward tells Channel 9 she did nothing wrong and merely signed bills as part of her position’s responsibilities. The station reports she has been relieved of her duties while the matter is investigated.
The president of the two companies, who is the school’s former chief executive and is one of the managers named in the suit, says contracts and payments were vetted and no public funds were used wrongly, the Post reports.
The former chief financial officer of the D.C. Public Charter School Board also is accused of aiding the alleged scheme. The lawsuit says he is now the CFO for one of the companies.
The Post reports that the charter school board says there are not systemic problems with charter-school finances. The board in July also said there was “no pattern of fiscal mismanagement” in fiscal 2012 at the school in question, according to the Post.