Problems Persist at the Richard Allen Schools
Columbus – Unlawful contract changes and potential conflicts of interest continue to cause problems at the four Richard Allen Schools (Montgomery County), according to the 2012 audits released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost. Findings for recovery total more than $450,000.
“We work to catch and correct any financial issues,” Auditor Yost said. “Unfortunately, the correcting part isn’t happening at the Richard Allen Schools. Something needs to change – quickly – before any more public dollars are misspent.”
In response to findings for recovery issued in a prior special audit of the Richard Allen Academy Community Schools, all four schools amended their contracts with the management company, IMR (Institute of Management and Resources, Inc.). However, per an attorney general opinion, retroactive approval of modifications to their management company contracts is not permitted. Based on the original contracts, IMR was overpaid in the following amounts:
- $30,360 by the Richard Allen Academy Community School
- $238,511 by the Richard Allen Academy II Community School
- $69,145 by the Richard Allen Academy III Community School
- $114,265 by the Richard Allen Preparatory Academy Community School
Findings for recovery in these amounts were issued against IMR. Felix O’Aku, who served as treasurer of all four schools during the audit period, is held jointly and severally liable.
In addition to the findings for recovery, referrals were made to the Ohio Ethics Commission regarding former school Director Jeanette Harris and her family’s connections with IMR. Concerns also were raised with O’Aku’s concurrent employment with both the schools and the management company.
Full copies of these audits may be accessed online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,800 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.