Skiatook Schools Under Microscope

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Updated: 2/24/2010 8:35 am Published: 2/23/2010 11:45 am

Skiatook, OK- Imagine paying more than $500 for three mop heads valued at $13 dollars each.

That's exactly what the state auditor says Skiatook Public Schools did over the last six years using a company called E&E Sales.

Marked up prices the district paid ranged from 100% to nearly 500% over typical retail prices.

The state auditors office tells us the $787,000 was spent on hiring a "middle man," who purchased janitorial supplies as well as supplies for a security system.

Using the "middle man" when the school could just go directly to the supplier, the auditor says, wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money.

"I'd rather it not happen. As far as a taxpayer, we're struggling as it is and if they're not using the money correctly," said Leo Schmitz, a Skiatook taxpayer. 

Oklahoma's State Auditor, Steve Burrage said in press release Tuesday:

"You really have to scratch your head over why you would do this. This case falls right along the same lines of the investigation years ago that uncovered the horror stories of the federal government paying $750 for toilet seats and $695 for ashtrays."

Burrage says the leader of the district had a major role in this.

"Superintendent Dr. Gary Johnson, who also served as the purchasing agent, did not exercise any cost comparison steps in his purchasing practices and did not implement internal controls to verify that products ordered were actually received," he said.

No one at the Education Service Center would speak with us on camera. We did get a statement, however, from the Skiatook School District's Superintendent.

"After reviewing the issues, the superintendent and the board determined to revise the purchasing procedures at that time. Further, Skiatook Public Schools immediately ceased doing business with the vendor involved."

Next step, the state auditor will release his findings to the Attorney General's office, who will decide whether or not to call a multi-county grand jury.

To read the entire audit of Skiatook Public School or read the schools response click the links above.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

slimjim - 3/12/2010 8:25 PM
0 Votes
Keep digging. Why did the previous auditors not discover this? Also just how long has this and other incidents been going on and swept under the rug?

LockHartSki - 2/27/2010 6:36 PM
0 Votes
The principal was Dr. Gary Johnson and Susan Brogan was the principal. I graduated in 2007.

slimjim - 2/26/2010 4:54 AM
0 Votes
LockHartSki, who was the Superintendent during this period, and who was the principle of that particular school?

LockHartSki - 2/24/2010 6:32 PM
1 Vote
As a Skiatook graduate, I recall numerous times that teachers would tell us to bring blankets to class, because the school was too stingy to turn the heaters on! We never received any kind of funding for school activities, but relied on fund-raisers and charitable donations! Hmm, wonder whose pocket the money landed in?!

slimjim - 2/24/2010 8:01 AM
0 Votes
Samson is right. You better start calling that Grand Jury and look long, hard, and deep.

samson - 2/23/2010 9:52 PM
1 Vote
Yikes!!! Can you say "kickback"!!! Better start rounding up that Grand Jury!

slimjim - 2/23/2010 1:52 PM
0 Votes
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