Thursday, June 9, 2011

Attorney General and State Auditor Release Investigative Audit of Broken Arrow Public Schools

Audit reveals possible criminal violations

Attorney General Scott Pruitt
Attorney General Scott Pruitt and State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones today released an investigatory audit of Broken Arrow Public Schools. The audit, which was requested by the Attorney General’s Office in late 2010, outlines several allegations of competitive bidding act violations and malfeasance by public officials.

The audit is the second review of Broken Arrow Public Schools by the state auditor and was requested by the Attorney General’s Office after an initial audit was deemed unsatisfactory.

The investigative audit covers multiple areas of interest between July 1, 2006 and March 31, 2009. Following a thorough review, the Attorney General’s Office found possible criminal violations in at least two areas – open records and special favoritism for vendors. The AG’s Office will continue a criminal investigation in these areas, and pursue those criminally responsible, if warranted.

The 84-page audit is the result of months of work by investigative auditors from the state auditor’s office.

“We’ve been working diligently to complete this audit since taking office on Jan. 10,” Jones said. “A report of this type seeks to answer numerous questions. Auditors identify possible violations of policy or statute, and offer recommendations to assist the public entity in improving its internal practices to better safeguard public assets. I am confident in our findings.”

An investigatory audit or “18f” is requested of the state auditor by the attorney general to assist the attorney general in an investigation. Unlike regular or other financial audits,
18f audits are part of the investigation and litigation files of the Attorney General’s Office and are kept confidential to preserve the integrity of the investigation until it’s complete or criminal charges are filed.

In the audit of Broken Arrow Public Schools, two objectives have been temporarily redacted. Once the AG’s office has completed its independent criminal investigation into these specific matters and a conclusion has been reached, those portions of the investigatory audit will be made public.

“In the interest of transparency and for the sake of those who were falsely accused, we felt it important to release the vast majority of the audit prior to our completed investigation,” Pruitt said. “My office will continue to review allegations of wrongdoing in the remainder of the audit and seek prosecution of individuals who are criminally responsible.”

The audit was estimated to cost the district about $40,000. Broken Arrow Public Schools was billed and has paid $39,868.17 as of Jan. 10 when Auditor Jones took office. A decision was made by the State Auditor’s Office to stop all additional billing as of that date and complete the report with no additional costs to the school district.

Link to audit:
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