would violate state and federal criminal bribery and extortion statues, said attorney Michael Martello, a government ethics expert. ...
... The report contains paraphrased summaries of comments from unnamed vendors: “The message was always clear – here’s what it costs to stay in.” “This is how we continue to get work from WCCUSD.”
It was pretty well known that if (you) didn’t contribute to what Ramsey says, you’re not going to get work with the district.” “He never hesitated to remind you that you wouldn’t be around here if you didn’t come up with a certain amount.”...
... The audit, released last month, warned of problems with the bond program budgeting practices, poor internal controls to ensure compliance with legal requirements and school board policies, and inadequate safeguards against conflicts of interest.
The contribution solicitations arose as part of the conflict-of-interest section of the investigation. The auditors offered no opinion on the legality of the practices. On Sept. 21, the school board voted unanimously to send the audit to law enforcement. ...
• Scope of work for Phase II of Forensic Audit (Test of Controls and Forensic Accounting Investigation).
• Articles regarding allegations that sparked the audit: www.eastbaytimes.com/richmond/ci_28208269/west-contra-costa-bond-oversight-committee-review-whistle
There are 7 candidates running for two seats in the November 8, 2016 election.
WCCUSD Candidate Interviews:
Borenstein: Pay-to-play concerns in school bond program?
Excerpt: An audit of West Contra Costa’s $1.6 billion school construction program indicates vendors felt pressured to contribute to two board trustees’ pet causes in order to receive district contracts.
Former trustee Charles Ramsey, current trustee Madeline Kronenberg and political ally and current school board candidate Don Gosney solicited money from vendors and subcontractors, according to the audit.
During fiscal years 2009-15, $2.1 million was donated by 26 vendors and subcontractors including architects, financial consultants, contractors, engineers and the bond program’s construction management firm.
About half the money went to the Ivy League Connection, a privately financed scholarship program founded by Kronenberg and Ramsey, and administered by them and Gosney, according to the audit.
Another $961,000 of vendor contributions went to “For the Children of West County,” a political action committee that campaigns for the district’s bond and parcel taxes. Ramsey was its fund-raising chairman.
If vendors were required to make contributions to obtain public contracts or continue their business relationships with the district, that
WCCUSD Final Forensic Audit
The final report of the Phase II Forensic Accounting Investigation of the District’s school construction bond program completed by Vicenti, Lloyd & Stutzman, CPAs is available on the WCCUSD website. While the document is available in its entirety, it has also been broken up into more easily downloadable segments. While it is tempting to move directly to the results and recommendations in Section III and Section IV, VLS strongly suggests reading and understanding the methodology included in subsection A of Section III and Section IV.
TC stands for Test Controls,
FI stands for Forensic Investigation
Measure TParcel Tax Renewal
Each year, the District receives $9.8 million to support its schools. On Tuesday, November 8, West County voters will be asked to support MEASURE T, a renewal of this parcel tax for eight more years. For this parcel tax cycle, Measure T renews the parcel tax at its current rate with no increases. The measure continues the 7.2¢ per square foot of building area that is assessed to local property owners (with exemptions for senior citizens and disabled persons).
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