Quest Academy in Las Vegas, Nevada is a charter school that is supposed to spend the funds it generates to give children a better education, but the school's principal had other ideas on how to spend the money, according to Action 13 News. The allegations that Quest Principal Connie Jordan and other school faculty members were misappropriating funds first surfaced in November of last year, and a subsequent forensic audit of the school's finances has uncovered what auditors appointed by the State Public Charter School Authority are calling fiscal malfeasance and abuse of authority. Allegedly a total of $270,000 in spending at the school are in question.
One allegation is that Quest Principal Connie Jordan misappropriated $15,000 in June 2011, and auditors say her explanations for what happened to that money are "bogus." There were also allegations of a credit card being used for items that were not related to the school.
In October, 2011, the Quest credit cards were used to pay for more than $4,300 in travel expenses and more than $500 at Wal-Mart for three Kindles, food items, and gift cards. More than $1200 was spent on meals, postage, travel, gift cards, a frame, food and tools in November 2011 on Connie Jordan's school credit card Jordan spent $5600 more in December 2011 at Barnes and Noble, where she bought eight Nooks and Nook accessories; at Best Buy where she bought DVDs, a Nintendo DSi, and two Turtle Beach Call of Duty video game headsets; and at Wal-Mart, where she dropped more money on a blu-ray player, movies, clothes, board games, music, Wii games and a lava lamp.
The auditor also found "tens of thousands of dollars" in what was categorized as "irregular payments" to Jordan and several other school administrators (checks that were issued outside the normal payroll process and the school board).
After hearing about the accounting irregularities, the Quest board took emergency action Monday against Principal Jordan; she no longer has the ability to hire and fire employees, and all of her access to school money has been taken away. The Quest board plans to take further action in meetings next week.
Source: Action 13 News