"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Former D.C. Charter School Oversight Chief Pleads Guilty to 4 Felony Counts

Just part of the cost of doing business in the education business. From WaPo:

Brenda Belton had some gall, by her own admission. As charter school oversight chief for the D.C. Board of Education, she repeatedly stole from the school system, arranging about $649,000 in illegal school payments and sweetheart contracts to herself and her friends.

Yesterday, she pleaded guilty to four felony counts of cheating the low-performing schools system over three years and trying to avoid taxes on her ill-gotten gains.

The former schools executive revealed numerous instances of the system's supervisors failing to catch on to what she was doing -- even as she was forging signatures, fabricating invoices and depositing taxpayer money into her bank account.

Belton, 61, admitted to U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina that she steered about $446,000 in seven no-bid contracts to friends and a cousin and stole $203,000 by paying school funds to a fictitious company she controlled. At the same time, she received $180,000 in illegal payments and kickbacks from friends she helped with school business. The crimes took place from March 2003 to May 2006, prosecutors said. . . .

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