Richmond School Board frustrated that audit still delayed

Posted at 11:34 PM, Mar 18, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--Upset members claim the Richmond School Board has been pushing for a comprehensive city audit of schools since early January.

The progress many had hoped for hasn’t happened. There has been no comprehensive city audit since 2004.

"Yeah, it's a huge problem," said Richmond School Board member Glen Sturtevant. He’s not the only one who feels like that.

"I can tell you I'm extremely frustrated that we're not further along," said Chair Jeff Bourne.

Bourne believes that top school administrators have been stalling the process and nearly three months after asking for the review, it hasn't even started yet.

"They're being overly cautious about giving information to the auditor," said Bourne.

An even bigger problem for these members came last week when they say Superintendent Yvonne Brandon had a conference call with several Richmond Public School principals informing them about the audit and the personnel information that will be released to city auditor Umesh Dalal.

“Folks were misinformed that Mr. Dalal was going to be looking at their bank accounts to see how much they'd be spending on a mortgage or car payment," said Bourne.

Members say the message spread quickly before the board knew anything about it.

"We didn't sanction that message," said board member Kim Gray, who claimed that it sparked alarm in teachers across the district.

"It’s not something we approved, not something we appreciate," said Sturtevant.

At Monday night’s meeting, Bourne cleared the air on the issue, assuring employees they'd been misinformed. He clarified that no one's personal finances would be accessed.

"I've been getting calls from teachers asking me if the city auditor will be looking at their spending habits and their personal bank accounts which is totally ludicrous," said Bourne.