School board member’s tough questions helped convict a former employee who stole $3.4 million from the district

EAGNot all the instances involve numbers this big but make no mistake, theft (legal and illegal) at the local government level is rampant across the country. From the Education Action Group:

We’d like to take a moment to salute all those rebellious school board members who insist on asking tough questions and demanding adequate answers, even when their colleagues and school administrators tell them they’re overstepping their bounds.

Sometimes these abrasive board members turn out to be taxpayers’ best friends.

Such is the case with Dr. Holly Thacker, a member of the Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio school board. She became suspicious of the district’s technology director several years ago after an audit revealed that the district had “excessive expenditures” for technology products and services.

Other officials in the district encouraged her to back off and ignore the situation, according to Thacker. But she shared her concerns with law enforcement personnel, who eventually started an investigation and discovered a massive embezzlement scheme that cost the district $3.4 million.

Continue reading…