NEW CASTLE, Del. – Students at the Family Foundations Academy charter school in New Castle, Delaware came perilously close to losing their school a few years ago, due to an alleged misuse of school funds by two top officials.
The state Board of Education postponed a vote on renewing the charter for the Family Foundations Academy in 2015 after an audit revealed that its chief operation officer and chief academic officer may have used close to $100,00 in school funds for personal purposes, according to a series of news reports from DelawareOnline.com.
The board finally decided to keep the school open after the two officials were fired, the school’s governing board was reorganized, and management of the school was handed over to another charter school, news reports said.
“The audit, commissioned by the school in spring of 2014 and conducted by Philadelphia-based Auphsite Consulting, looked at charges on school-owned credit cards held by Sean Moore, its chief operating officer, and Tennell Brewington, founder and chief academic officer, made from July 2012 through February 2014,” DelawareOnline.com reported.
“The audit could not account for $2,403.89 in p-card purchases. The big money, however, was in the American Express Cards, which Moore used for a total of $73,956.02 and Brewington used for a total of $20,673.85.
“Credit card records in the audit show purchases for car payments, furniture, flowers, fine watches, expensive meals and concert tickets, among many other items.”
Federal prosecutors finally charged Moore with three counts of theft in September 2016, according to WDEL.com. He later pleaded guilty.
“Authorities alleged in a court filing this week that Sean Moore stole and misappropriated more than $150,000 in funds belonging to the charter school from January 2012 through December 2014,” the news report said.
Brewington was charged a month later, according to a report from Exceptional Delaware.
“A Public Information Officer from the Delaware (Department of Justice) told (the media) that Brewington was arrested on October 24, 2016, and charged with two counts of theft greater than $1,500, two counts of unlawful use of a credit card greater than $1,500, one count of unlawful use of a payment card less than $1,500, and one count of official misconduct,” the news service reported.