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Crusade continues for school information



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March 30, 2011 - After a year of citizen investigation and boxes of documents acquired under the Freedom of Information Act, Dawn Schaller of Independence Township still has questions.

Answers have been difficult to come by, Schaller said.

"The FOIA information is short quite a bit," she said. "I'll give them another opportunity to provide the documents before I go for other recourses."

Many of the documents she seeks involve use of school district credit cards and fund account codes. Issues include payments divided up amongst different school accounts, two Broadway tickets purchased during a school field trip to New York City and charged to supplies/materials, and a teacher allowing others to place orders using a district credit card.

Schaller also requested information on projects put up for bid and approved, then added onto with change orders without rebidding. One is from May 2006 for elementary school irrigation systems. With three bidders, the project was approved for $66,691.54. Then a change-order was approved in June 2006 for $55,743.15, to the original winning bidder. In June 2009, a lighting upgrade project was bid out and approved for $142,515, then a change order was approved in August 2008, adding $58,971.

Clarkston Board of Education members did not respond to a request for comment and/or interviews.

Phil Custodio

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