Linda Schrenko is under fire - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Linda Schrenko is under fire

January 31, 2003

Albany- More than half a million tax dollars spent by Linda Schrenko are now being questioned. State School board member, Peggy Nielson, explains the reasoning behind the audit.

"Supplies and items that were specified in contract were not needed by any of the department that were involved and were not desired. This was one of the first kind of signs that we needed to look carefully into this," says Nielson.

State auditors say 11 separate contracts and a $1.1 million federal grant were awarded by Schrenko without state board approval, something definitely outside the letter of the law and board policy.

Nielson says new school superintendent Kathy Cox has promised education money will be spent wisely, and she hopes taxpayers will also get that message.

"I think we should be reassured that the new superintendent that has come in is instituting the finest in business principles and in accountability principles," adds Nielson. "I, as a State Board member am confident that we will not see this again."

State Attorney Thurbert Baker has vowed to investigate the matter and take appropriate legal action.

In November, the Board of Education voided all the contracts which paid computer software for deaf students and a gifted-students program. Cox has also said she will put safeguards in place so that similar problems don't happen again.

Posted at 10:16 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com