Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Waste and Corruption in the Mount Vernon School System


For the past few weeks, Mount Vernon Exposed has been informing the citizens of Mount Vernon about the rampant stealing of funds and corruption within the Mount Vernon City School District. Millions of dollars stolen are only numbers to some, but thousands of lives have been destroyed by the behavior of Len Sarver, Joseph McGrath, Judith Johnson, and Tim Costello.

Mount Vernon Exposed has learned during our investigation that Mount Vernon School officials are negligent and reckless when it comes to spending public funds. 

Mount Vernon Exposed has learned that School Superintendent Judith Johnson has brought her corrupt ways to the City of Mount Vernon School district.  Mount Vernon Exposed Investigators have learned that thousands of Language Arts books were ordered at the direction of Johnson.  The Language Arts books in question have either been doubled ordered or just not needed.  The books in question are just lying around various schools in the district. Sources have told Mount Vernon Exposed that Judith Johnson has a close, personal relationship with the Language Arts vendor.  Is Johnson getting a commission for purchasing these books?  Has Johnson disclosed this conflict of interest to school board trustees?

Mount Vernon Exposed investigators have uncovered additional acts of fraud, waste, and abuse by Mount Vernon school officials.  Mount Vernon Exposed has learned that approximately $15,000 or copy paper is sitting in an elementary school basement just rotting away.  School officials have no intention of using the paper.  Since the copy paper was paid for by and belongs to the taxpayers, the copy should be distributed to students in need.  Did Johnson benefit financially from this copy paper delivery?

Any school system is the lifeblood of the community they educate. A good school system educates children, and prepares them to be productive members of society. A good school system helps to prevent welfare, gangs, and jailed citizens. A good school system also insures that property values remain stable. Mount Vernon has the highest property taxes in the nation, and one of the worst school systems in the state of New York. Mount Vernon also has the worst ratio of property taxes to property values in the state.

How does such an enormous school budget of $230 million dollars produce such bad results? Because of greediness, school officials continue to pilfer tax dollars while putting children’s lives in danger.  The children and taxpayers are the real victims of this heist. 

In recent weeks, Mount Vernon Exposed has met with dozens of the over 500 families in tax foreclosure.  There are hundreds more homes in bank foreclosure, because people are not able to pay their property taxes. Mount Vernon has one of the highest rates of foreclosures in the nation. Hundreds of homes in Mount Vernon are abandoned.   Men, woman, and children have been put out on the street because of the corrupt acts of Superintendent Judith Johnson, School Board Vice President Len Sarver, Assistant Superintendent of Business Timothy Costello and Chief Technology Officer Joseph McGrath.  These individuals, already receiving more salary than they should, have decided that their high six figure paychecks cannot satisfy their lifestyle, so they have decided to loot the school coffers.

However, the biggest crime is being done to the children of Mount Vernon, because they are not being properly educated. With $230 Million per year being sucked out of the pockets of taxpayers, Mount Vernon has the second worst school district in the state. Some schools have 75% or more students performing below grade level, and most of our children do not graduate. With a school budget of $230 million, Mount Vernon School district should have the best schools in New York State. 

Twenty years ago, Mount Vernon had great schools and low taxes. What happened? Monies paid by taxpayers never make it to the classroom.  Instead, it ends up in the pockets of crooked school officials.  Len Sarver, Joseph McGrath, Judith Johnson, and Tim Costello, just to name a few, have robbed the future of the children of Mount Vernon. Children who drop out of school join gangs, become involved with drugs, become teenage parents, and end up in jail. Most of the children who happen to graduate are unprepared for college. Due to rampant corruption a generation of children have been lost in the City of Mount Vernon.

Mt Vernon has been devastated by the actions of a few selfish, and greedy individuals. They have destroyed this once great city and should be held accountable. When you walk around Mount Vernon, and you see a troubled teenager, or an abandoned home, you now know what caused this plight. Mount Vernon taxpayers and residents cannot continue to sit back and allow this foolishness to continue. It is up to all hold school officials accountable for their actions. Taxpayers must demand that the Board of Trustees call in the authorities to investigate the district finances. After all, they just voted to do so. Mount Vernon Exposed will keep you posted about the action taken by school board trustees.   To be continued…
Post a Comment