The Downfall Of A Greedy Chief Executive Officer

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Greetings from Northern California,

Sadly, there was another senseless shooting this week, in a small Northern California community about three hours from where I live.

When shots were heard the school staff reacted quickly and placed the school into lock down seconds before the shooter arrived at the school. A local law enforcement spokesperson said to reporters, he believed the fast-acting staff saved lives.

As horrific as this type of event is for all who were touched by the tragedy, it also triggers memories for many others who were connected to other school crime events. My heart hurts for all who have suffered from this cruel act.

BLOG POST #138: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a school district’s Chief Executive Officer.

Building a Legacy

Before becoming the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the nation’s third-largest, financially strapped, metropolitan school district, she began her career in public education as a school teacher. She went on to become a prominent figure in urban education and served as the head of another large metropolitan school district as the chief academic and accountability officer.

To say she was highly respected would be an understatement.

She stepped out of public education briefly to work as a consultant with a firm that offered professional development training for school administrators, consulting services and school diagnostic review and turnaround programs.

Money Talks

While working as the CEO for the large metropolitan school district, she orchestrated the approval of no-bid contracts worth more than $23 million for services with her prior employer where she had worked as a consultant in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks.

Adding Fraud to the Resume

By agreement, she pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and assisted in the case against the consulting firm. The judge sentenced her to a 54-month prison sentence, fined her $15,000 and ordered that she and her co-defendants jointly share in a $254,000 restitution payment to the school district.

At the time of this posting, she’s currently serving time in a minimum security prison. Her scheduled release date is in 2021; she’ll be 72.

My ‘Take Away’ in this case: Her annual salary was more than $250,000 at the time of her arrest. I can’t fathom circumstances so dire you see no other option but to steal large sums of money from your employer. Nor can I understand someone who is so arrogant they think they can steal large sums of money from their employer AND get away with it.

What do you think about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to AmazonMAC: A Prequel Novella

Find out what Cole ‘Mac’ MacKenna  is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon

3 Men Guilty Of School Hate Crime

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

 

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #132Bullying and racism need to stop. In my opinion, adults teach children to bully and be prejudice. We can’t change the past, but we can control the future. October is National Bullying Prevention Month; I’ll be sharing research on bullying cases each week in October.

Children can be relentlessly mean. Sadly, bullying happens to adults as well. Whether you’re a child or an adult, when you’re on the receiving end of bullying it’s hard to think logically about the fact that bullies bully because they have issues. Bullying and racism wounds cut deep. You may not see the damage, but it’s there.

BLOG POST #132: This week, I’m sharing research on three specific and connected criminal cases involving three men.

More Than A Prank

It was 2007. The community was engaged in a racially charged debate over busing a substantial number of black students, ages approximately 11-14 years, to a different junior high school to have a more diverse study body at the school.

One evening while next door to the school, three men, ages 21, 25, and 30, complained about the busing program. They believed the program was ruining the community and lowering the standards of the school.

They devised a plan to hang a dead raccoon, that one man happened to have in his truck, from the school’s flagpole to “scare the little [ethnic slur], kids.”

Targeting Innocent Children

The man who tied the knot chose to tie a noose because of the historical significance of a noose used for lynching black people. The two co-conspirators agree.

The men were also aware of the significance of a raccoon as a derogatory reference to blacks.

Before the staff could remove the vulgar display from in front of the school, one teacher estimated as many as 40 students saw the raccoon hanging by a noose.

After the incident, the sheriff’s office provided 24-hour security at the school until the school could install security cameras.

Hate Is Not A Defense

The three men were identified and arrested. All three pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime—intentionally attempting to intimidate and interfere with African-American students who were attending the junior high school.

The 25-year-old man was sentenced to eight months in prison. The 30-year-old man was sentenced to six months in prison. And the 21-year-old man to five months in prison. All three also received one year of supervised release that included a course on cultural diversity and sensitivity.

Racially-motivated intimidation and violence is contrary to the American ideal of freedom, and it is particularly deplorable when it targets children,” said the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.

Here’s my ‘Take Away’ on this case: This case is ten years old, but I think those who are prejudice have the same twisted mindset today. I don’t get it, so I find myself tongue-tied on the subject. What I can say is this mentality makes me sick.

What do you think about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to Amazon

MAC: A Prequel NovellaFind out what Cole ‘Mac’ MacKenna  is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon

Breaking Up Can Be Deadly

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #131When you’re in high school, being popular doesn’t necessarily make life easier. It can be just as difficult as being the lowest kid in the pecking order.

Like everyone, popular kids have the negative voice in their head telling them they’re fat or worthless, etc. Popular kids can come from turbulent homes.

BLOG POST #131: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a popular high school student.

You’d think the popular football player, recently crowned Homecoming Prince, would be on top of the world. Instead, like so many teenagers, he kept his troubles inside.

Kids Will Be Kids – Right?

His parents didn’t understand the depth of their son’s depression. They knew he and his longtime girlfriend had broken up after Homecoming. And they knew he’d gotten into an altercation with another football player and was suspended for a few days.

Before school, his pleading texts to his ex-girlfriend went unanswered.

Not A Normal Day

To his mother, it was a normal day when she dropped her son off at school the same as she had done every day.

She didn’t know the day was far from normal. She had no clue her son had taken his father’s guns and ammunition with him that day.

Keep Your Friends Close

He asked friends to meet him in the cafeteria for first lunch. The friends joined him at a lunch table.

When he texted a photo of a gun to his ex-girlfriend, she called him, and they talked briefly.

And Then He Snapped

After the phone call with his ex-girlfriend, he bolted from his seat and shot his friends one by one—five friends.

He reloaded, and then shot himself.

Including the shooter, four kids died that day, and two were critically wounded.

Minutes before shooting anyone, he had texted a group of family members and apologized to the families of his victims. He said he needed to take his crew with him; he didn’t want to go alone.

Here’s my ‘Take Away’ on this case: Case after case, I read about parents who never thought their child would do what they did. And I’m not implying this tragedy wouldn’t have happened had the boy’s parents paid more attention to their son’s depression. At some point parents need to consider if their child is “down” about something they very well may be capable of suicide or murder-suicide.

What do you think about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to AmazonMAC: A Prequel NovellaFind out what Cole ‘Mac’ MacKenna is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon

Corruption At The Charter School

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #123Charter schools are funded with tax-payer money but managed privately.

They have more flexibility with curriculum, budget, and staffing. Charter Schools are NOT exempt from standard accounting practices.

BLOG POST #123: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case about an Executive Director of a Charter School.

Stealing From The Most Vulnerable

It was the Executive Director’s frequent deposits to purchase a total of $760,000 in life insurance annuities from a financial security company that eventually raised red flags at the company, and they reported the suspicious activity to the FBI, prompting an investigation.

The Executive Director was unable to explain how she was able to purchase the annuities. Her personal income couldn’t justify the large amount.

The state revoked the school’s charter and ordered the school to close. Approximately 140 elementary-aged disadvantaged children were attending the charter school at the time it closed the doors permanently.

The Outcome Could Have Been Much Worse

Technically, what she did was money laundering which would have given her a longer sentence. Instead, she was charged with two counts of embezzling federal property. One count for the USDA, Department of Agriculture money (school lunch program) and one count for the DOE, Department of Education money (Title I, Title II, and IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).

At her trial, evidence showed from 2007 – 2013, she transferred $1.56 million in federal government funds from the school’s bank account to shell companies she created and controlled.

She was supposed to help children who were needy children, who had a lot to gain from a good education,” the U.S. Judge said just before pronouncing her sentence.

Her Career In Education Is Over

The former Executive Director was found guilty on both embezzlement charges and was sentenced to 42 months in a federal prison and ordered to pay over $1.5 million in restitution.

The court ordered her to pay $954,662.61 to the USDA and $607,271.58 to the DOE. And she was ordered to forfeit over $750,000 in life insurance annuities as well as her share in a house she owned.

Worth mentioning: The former Executive Director filed an appeal contending that the government failed to show the $1.56 million she embezzled belonged to the federal government. She argued that, because the money from state and federal sources was commingled in one undifferentiated account, the government could not show that the money she took was federal, as opposed to purely state, money. Her appeal was denied.

What do you think about this case? Your relevant comments about this post or any of the other posts are always welcome on the website.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for spending part of your day or evening reading this post and for caring about children!

-Robin

Link to Amazon  MAC: A Prequel Novella

Find out what Cole ‘Mac’ MacKenna is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon

Middle School Manipulator

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

When a parent sends their child to school they expect a quality education, they also expect and should demand their child will be safe while there.

Pedophiles are good manipulators. They have honed their skill to recognize a child’s vulnerabilities and then overcompensate to address those weaknesses as part of the grooming process.

BLOG POST #122: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a Middle School Social Studies Teacher and two students.

Criminal Behavior

After the 31-year-old teacher and his 13-year-old student had been in a sexual relationship for more than one year, the girl told her parents.

He worked for the school district not quite three years before the police arrested him at the middle school and confiscated his cell phone. Next stop was a search of the teacher’s home and computer.

Bold Request

Law enforcement learned through the investigation, he’d sent the girls, (the 13-year-old and a 14-year-old) sexual texts and naked pictures of himself. And he asked the girls to send him naked pictures of themselves, which they did.

The county assistant prosecutor said, “People have to send their kids to school; they have no choice. They trust that teachers will protect their children. They never expect a teacher is the one they should have feared the most.”

When the former teacher pleaded guilty to sexual battery, he admitted that he’d taken the 13-year-old girl to his house and engaged in sexual conduct with her.

The former teacher resigned his position and the Department of Education permanently revoked his teaching license.

Let’s Make A Deal

He accepted a plea agreement and was found guilty of one count of sexual battery, 22 counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, seven counts of importuning, six counts of endangering children and one count of possessing criminal tools.

Importuning is sending text messages or e-mails asking someone to perform a sexual act.

At his sentencing, the former teacher said to the judge, “I’m begging you to give me a second chance at life.”

Life: Not Life

Originally the court sentenced the former teacher to a total of 93 years in prison. Then there was an order to vacate his endangering children conviction and sentence.

The sentencing judge replied to the former teacher, “I don’t mean to disappoint you, but I will not be giving you a second chance.”

If you’ve ever had the misfortune to be involved in a criminal court case, then you know criminal cases are in and out of court frequently, appealing this or that.

Rather than just resentence for the endangering children conviction, the court conducted a De novo resentenced on all counts, lowering the total sentence to 21-years and $1.25 million in restitution.

A De novo sentencing is a judicial review that will be conducted as if prior proceedings had never taken place.

He was labeled a Tier III sex offender, the most serious classification. He must register his home and work address with the County sheriff every 90 days for the remainder of his life.

As of this posting, he’s scheduled to be released from prison in 2031, when he’s 52.

Worth mentioning: The former teacher filed another appeal arguing his attorney was ineffective for not  contesting that the nude photos were protected speech under the First Amendment and could not be used as the basis for conviction. The court denied his appeal.

What do you think about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to AmazonMAC: A Prequel NovellaFind out what Cole ‘Mac’ MacKenna  is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon