Leading by Example?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

I constantly hear how bad the Obama Administration is because of all of the scandals and I certainly agree that former President Jimmy Carter’s legacy as the worse President in history is in jeopardy but I don’t think that’s the real story here. I think the real story is that we accept scandals so easily and believe this kind of behavior is normal. Let me briefly explain what I mean by recounting an incident that happened to me in recent months. This story is true and from my forty-four years of experience in education I think it is more common than one might think.

In March I resigned, as Business Manager, from the Cobre Valley Institute of Technology which serves Globe, Miami, Hayden, Superior, and San Carlos. I told the Governing Board that I would not compromise my credibility by continuing to work in the School District. (Strangely, they never asked what I meant by that statement.) There were a number of issues that brought me to this point but one in particular crossed a line I could not tolerate. An employee was paid $2,121.00 out of a Federal Program for supposedly overseeing the implementation of a grant for three of our member Districts. The problem was that this employee was not entitled to this money and the Superintendent knew that prior to approving payment. The following information should clarify this point.

The employee’s regular job description already covered overseeing Federal Projects. This meant that the employee was paid twice to do the same job.

There was nothing in the Federal Project that authorized the payment this employee.

The Superintendent, Pete Guzman, was told repeatedly, by me, not to make the payment because it was not a legal expense and he authorized the payment anyway.

Outside Auditors determined that the payment was an “ineligible expenditure” and stated in the exit report that the stipend may have to be paid back to the State. They also said that the employee’s documentation of work performed was “not complete and approved”.

I made a request to the Board President to place this item on the agenda because the Superintendent, Pete Guzman, refused my request. To his credit the Board President put the item on the agenda.

At a regular meeting of the Governing Board they refused to do anything about the situation and simply killed the matter by voting on the Superintendent’s recommendation to table the issue.

The Department of Education has been looking into the incident for some time but there has been no indication that they want to get involved. Their position is that the amount is too small to worry about. They don’t seem to be too concerned with the moral or legal implications. The last I heard from the Arizona Department of Education is that they can’t find any information on the Audit. I’m not joking.

Throughout this entire ordeal I was made to feel that I was the problem. I was given the impression that I was making a big deal out of nothing and it would all go away if I would just shut my mouth. It was clear that if I wanted to continue to be a part of the fraternity then I needed to get in line with the Superintendent and Board. I was told that this was a distraction from all the good things that we were doing. In short the, “end justified the means “.

Is all of this a bit strange or I am going crazy? These folks are your neighbors, friends, and relatives. They are just like you and I, except they chose to condone something they knew was wrong. There was not one good reason for them to allow this to happen! Doing the right thing would have been so easy but for some reason they decided to ignore the problem. How can they have so little regard for the truth? How can they be so much like the Obama Administration?

/s/ Neil Barwick

Editor’s Note: Allegations in this letter are being actively researched by Copper Area News. The results will be published at a later date. If you have something to contribute, please contact us at editor@minersunbasin.com.

Staff (4146 Posts)

There are news or informational items frequently written by staff or submitted to the Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner, Superior Sun, Pinal Nugget or Oracle Towne Crier for inclusion in our print or digital products. These items are not credited with an author.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Additional Stories

    Along the Gila: Rural Policy Forum, Copper Basin Chamber and Prickly Pears

    August 18th, 2017
    by

    The Arizona Rural Policy Forum took place in Thatcher and Safford this past week. Over three days, the group held […]


    Along the Gila: Accentuating the Positive

    August 10th, 2017
    by

    So, what’s a town to do in this day and age? The economists talk about how Arizona has come back […]


    Dry Heat: Pardon My Interruption

    August 3rd, 2017
    by

    President Trump’s idea to ban transgenders from the military is wrong! He should have spoken to his military leaders before […]


    Along the Gila: Pinal RTA on the Ballot in November

    July 27th, 2017
    by

    The citizens of Mammoth, Kearny, and Superior will want to learn about two November ballot items, Propositions 416 and 417, […]


  • Additional Stories

    Dry Heat: Living in a Bizzaro World

    July 20th, 2017
    by

    In case you have noticed, I have been away from my column for some time now. After the election of […]


    Letter to the Editor: Thank you to the volunteers who cleaned Veteran’s Memorial Blvd.

    July 20th, 2017
    by

      What a wonderful group of caring people who live in and around San Manuel. Our San Manuel highway shows […]


    Letter to the Editor: Reader enjoys Hosler’s column

    July 20th, 2017
    by

      Keep on the good work, Copper Basin News! One of the things I enjoy are the weekly articles by […]


    Letter to the Editor: Outstanding 4th of July show at Apache Sky Casino

    July 13th, 2017
    by

      Magnificent, outstanding Casino Apache Sky should be proud of the fireworks  presented to the public on July 1, 2017. […]


  • Copperarea

  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • Southeast Valley Ledger