Home Financial consultant Romulus officials talk about superintendent’s leave, but not council actions – The News Herald

Romulus officials talk about superintendent’s leave, but not council actions – The News Herald


Officials at Romulus community schools reached out to parents and staff after the emotionally charged meeting on September 27 to explain that the school superintendent. Dr Benjamin Edmondson has been placed on administrative leave.

However, he did not respond to lingering questions about how officials were able to prepare with a resolution, an interim superintendent selected and a company appointed to conduct an internal investigation into the spending practices of the superintendent’s office without a public meeting. .

All of these things were in place and materialized by the end of the meeting despite anyone wondering when and how these decisions were made. In fact, a few board members seemed caught off guard by this turn of events.

At this meeting, the superintendent packed his things and went out while the resolution was read putting him on leave.

Other board members also walked out of the meeting and residents shouted in anger and threatened with recall following the action.

Sean McNatt is the acting school superintendent while Edmondson is on administrative leave with pay.

McNatt returned calls seeking comment on the meeting, but only provided a copy of the resolution and letter sent to parents explaining what was done at the meeting.

He said he didn’t want to comment beyond that.

Nonetheless, McNatt received several questions via email about meetings or actions of board members that led to the decisions announced that night. He was also asked if all board members had discussed the matter.

Calls and emails sent to McNatt were not returned.

In the information sent with the resolution and a letter to parents and staff, McNatt wrote that the reasons for the council’s action are explained in the resolution, “which in short are serious concerns about the business and financial practices of the district. as identified by the district financial board. district auditor and financial advisor.

The resolution specifies that:

● District auditors identified many concerns regarding the district’s business and financial management in its 2019-2020 audit.

He found a “weakness” in many of the district’s internal controls over financial reporting and legal compliance.

● The council had concerns about the district business office, as well as that there had been no replacement for the former head of the office, which led the district to retain the services of the district office. ‘a financial consultant.

● The financial consultant recently reported to the district finance committee that he had found many examples of district business offices not following normal financial protocols with respect to expenses, including keeping proper receipts and filing. issuance of several smaller invoices to a business entity for the eventual in order to avoid tendering, if any.

● The superintendent was aware of many of these issues in the business office, but took no significant action to resolve the issues.

● Members of the council’s finance committee fear that unless immediate and independent action is taken, the affairs and finances of the district will be in serious jeopardy, especially given the announced departure of the district’s internal accountant.

The letter to staff and parents addresses the action taken at the meeting and a copy of the resolution has been attached.

“We know that in situations like this it is human nature to speculate and share rumors about what is going on,” said the letter, on which board chair Debbie Pyles and the McNatt’s name signed. “Out of respect for everyone involved, we ask that you speak to your student and encourage them to stay focused at school on their classwork and learning. Our excellent staff are dedicated to supporting your students’ academic experience despite the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic, and they will continue their efforts to provide a quality learning environment for their success.

The letter said that it is important to note that the action of the council is directed only at the business office and has no impact on the students and teachers in our class, where it is “like d ‘habit “.

The officials promised to keep everyone informed of the status of the investigation, if any.

“In the meantime, please be aware that this situation will not distract us from our service and our support for your student,” the letter said. “If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call my office. “

No direct number was provided, but the general council office number is 734-532-1600.


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