By Steve Bracci:
At the April 11, 2017, school board meeting in Everglades City, Collier County School Superintendent Kamela Patton practically commandeered the meeting in order to fight tooth-and-nail against having an independent auditor review the school district’s financial and operational practices. Patton has been successful in fending off such an independent audit since the beginning of her reign in 2011.
Patton’s filibustering resistance was so strong that board member Erika Donalds — herself a CPA and CFO of a large financial services company — told the board that in the private world, if a CEO such as Patton so strongly resisted an independent audit, it would be a major “RED FLAG.”
Board member Kelly Lichter joined in calling out the “RED FLAG.”
District General Counsel Jon Fishbane — who may be retained or fired by the Superintendent and therefore serves at her will rather than the board’s — went beyond simply providing legal guidance and seemingly advocated a position against an audit, steering the conversation in other directions. Fishbane has served alongside Patton since the beginning of her reign in 2011.
Remember back in January how Obama bragged that his administration was “scandal free?” They thought that Trump would never beat Hillary, and therefore the skeletons would never be revealed. Look how much has now turned up in a couple months’ time under the eyes of Trump and his new administrators.
Could it be that Superintendent Patton does not want an independent auditor looking under the hood? It sure seems that way.
And oh, by the way, Patton sure seems comfortable with that Gallagher company that she hand-picked to conduct a lesser review.
I will link to the school board video once it is posted.