Taylor Calls for Ethics Probe of Cincinnati Charter School

Several employees owe school thousands

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hamilton County -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor today asked the Ohio Ethics Commission to review the activities of certain employees of the Nia University Community School. Taylor’s request coincides with the release of the school’s initial audit report for fiscal years 2007 and 2008, which also identifies nearly $28,000 several employees owe back to the school.

“Ohioans deserve proper oversight and efficient operations in all levels of government, including schools,” Taylor said. “This report outlines detailed recommendations and solutions to improve accountability to state taxpayers and to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future.”

Taylor’s ethics request focuses on the payment of:

  • $12,000 to BBAJ Consulting Services, which is owned by Vivian Strickling, former school superintendent and executive director
  • $4,824 to SimpHouse Education Consulting, which is owned by Angela Houston, former school board president
  • $2,500 to Chellrone’s, which is owned by Geraldine St. Clair, former school office manager
  • $1,496 to three of Strickling’s children for completing “miscellaneous work” for the school
  • $550 worth of computer equipment given to Strickling’s daughter

A number of employees also owe the school a combined total of nearly $28,000 for various reasons, including: salary overpayments, improper travel reimbursements such as hotel stays and vehicle rentals, cell phone reimbursements and unauthorized Sam’s Club purchases.

On July 1, 2009, Nia University Community School changed its name to Aspiring to Excellence in Achievement Academy.

A copy of the complete audit is available online at www.auditor.state.oh.us.


The Ohio Auditor of State’s office is a leader in the accounting and auditing field, earning prestigious national honors from the Government Finance Officers Association, the National White Collar Crime Center and the National State Auditor’s Association.

Steve Faulkner
Deputy Press Secretary
(614) 644-1111