Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Joplin R-8 state audit report will be released well before April Board election
Superintendent C. J. Huff told the Joplin Globe that the auditors should be finished with the Joplin portion of their investigation this week. After that, they return to Jefferson City and write a first draft, then schedule a closed door meeting with the Board of Education.
The Board then has the opportunity to file a response to the auditors' findings. The response is included in the final audit report, which will then be released during a public meeting.
The results could have enormous implications on the board race if current President Annie Sharp, who has been on the board since 2000, decides to seek a sixth three-year term. Sharp is the only candidate who will have been on the board during the time covered by the audit, unless someone like Jeff Flowers or Phil Willcoxon decides to launch a comeback.
The other incumbent this year, Jim Kimbrough, has indicated he will not seek re-election.
The auditors have reportedly reviewed considerable evidence that the board has violated policies and procedures on a consistent basis with numerous no-bid contracts or contracts that were designed so only one bidder could be successful.
The audit will also cover the "might-as-well" spending spree during construction that has put the Joplin R-8 School District in a precarious financial situation.