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A few weeks back we filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Spencer-East Brookfield school district to find out how much money they spent on lawyer’s fees to investigate the alleged $7,000 in missing money from the school activity account. Because if they spent more than $7,000 to investigate $7,000 of missing money, well, that would just be dumb. The law gives them 10 days to get back to us, but they didn’t do that, because rules and laws don’t apply to those who run the SEBRSD. We had essentially given up until we finally received correspondance from the district on Saturday. Let’s look at the bill they sent us from the Law Office of Robert J. Hennigan Jr.:
As you can see it’s dated 7/9/15, and the bill was 3,182.50. Between that date and August 3, the district ran up another $9,245 on the taxpayer’s tab:
Which, as you can see, brought the bill up $12,427.50.
Between August 3 and September 2, the district was charged another $5,798.48, which included printing fees on top of lawyer’s fees.
This brings the total bill for two months worth of legal work to $18,225.98, to investigate an alleged $7,000 that was missing.
Then according to the bill dated October 1, the school paid another $5,297.50 for “professional courtesy,” and were charged another $7,130 in legal fees, and $546.04 in printing fees:
So this brought the bill to $31,199.52.
There’s been no more billing because the investigation is complete. No money was ever missing. The district treasurer screwed up according to Mr. Hennigan:
“While in some cases an argument could be made that there is “some tangential connection” between the expenditures and benefits to students, he said, it seems the School Department did not follow the letter of the law nor an established district policy that has been in place since October 2013.”
“Mr. Hennigan questioned why some items weren’t funded in the school budget. Water for the nurse office, a new shot put and measuring tape for the track team and the costs of band camp and a marching band drill design program shouldn’t have come from the student activity fees, he said.”
Basically what happened here is that the school district is broke because of piss poor management, so the Athletic Director and music teacher took it upon themselves to raise money and put it into this account. Then the district would write them checks to pay for things like shot puts, and band camps – stuff that directly benefits the kids and is supposed to be provided for them in the first place.
But because the two people who put in requests for money the most (AD Chuck Fahey, and arts director Becky Busierre) were not liked by School Committee Chairman Kevin Hayes, it prompted the district to spend $31,199.52 in legal fees to try to prove that they were stealing money. In the meantime the district will not let them carry on as AD, student council advisor, show choir director, or the handful of other groups these two were in charge of. And the kids continue to go without because Kevin Hayes and Tracy Crowe have to win this pissing match. They did however let them keep teaching, which is weird, because if I thought two of my employees were stealing taxpayer money, I certainly wouldn’t let them keep teaching. If they’re not trusted to be show choir director, then why are they trusted to be teachers?
So once again, the investigation has reached it’s conclusion and the district is no longer being billed. Both Busierre and Fahey were exonerated. Yet their positions still remain unfilled. Why? Simple – the district is purposely not releasing these findings until they find a scab who will take their jobs. Then they’ll release the report, vindicate both teachers, and try to pretend like none of this ever happened. But they won’t get their jobs or reputation back.
Hayes and Crowe knew the whole time there was nothing there. This was all just a ruse by Kevin Hayes to get back at the AD because he didn’t hire his wife to coach field hockey. The interim AD coincidentally appointed Hayes’ wife to be the field hockey coach, which was the reason the district wasted $31,199.52 on nothing. Because they have plenty of money to spare when this is what their high school likes like:
The ball’s in the court of the taxpayers. You have a right to a recall election. You’d be crazy not to use it. Kevin Hayes and Tracy Crowe are stealing your money, screwing over your kids, and blaming the union boogie man. We’ve proven it and it’s undeniable.
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