Affidavit ties Sanders to TPS investigationWritten by Toledo Free Press Staff Writers | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A sworn affidavit included in the work notes released Jan. 15 from the office of Ohio State Auditor Mary Taylor on the special audit into Toledo Public Schools ties former Toledo Superintendent Eugene Sanders to the investigation of one of the newly elected Toledo Public School Board members.
The sworn affidavit taken on Dec. 28, 2009 from Steven R. Cotner of Corporate Intelligence Consultants states in part:
“That, the second invoice 33905L was for investigative research requested by Human Resources Manager Clinton Faulkner. Faulkner stated that Superintendent Saunders [sic] received information that one of the newly elected board members had a criminal record that might preclude service on the school board.”
It appears from the Auditor’s work audit that the check paid to CIC for the investigations done on Steven Flagg and Francis Dumbuya were paid after Sanders left the district; the signatures on the check are those of John Foley, at that time interim superintendent, and James Fortlage, treasurer.
The Auditor’s work notes also indicated some of the types of investigations that were done on TPS employees. One investigation requested in January 2005 requested on a TPS teacher and supervisor referenced a trip to Italy and asked that CIC investigators:
“Document their departure – do daily activity checks @ their residences to prove they’re gone – collect their trash as soon as they return.”
Flagg, who was named as being investigated by TPS, said Sanders’ involvement is “no surprise at all” and that a much broader investigation is warranted.
One of the invoices that did not pass review of the Auditor’s office was a CIC criminal background investigation requested on June 24, 2005 into Ed Skinner, who was at that time the Director of Employee Benefits. Skinner later went to Cleveland Public Schools and was employed as Executive Director Benefits and Risk Management at Cleveland Metropolitan School District. As of Jan. 15, he does not appear to be listed on the Cleveland Public School Web site.
In the Auditor’s work audit notes, approximately 40 names were listed as being the subject of a request for CIC to investigate. Most of these investigation requests were related to workman compensation claims investigations, suspected abuse of sick time, suspected abuse of unsupervised work hours, suspected theft and in one case suspected drug use.
Several of the case sheets from CIC indicated the employee being investigated was rumored to be retiring or close to retiring and was abusing accumulated sick time. In one case, an employee was nearing retirement and her husband had just died several weeks before the request to investigate her for “abuse of accumulated sick time” was instigated. Surveillance was done at her home three times for an invoice of $1,304.50.
Another employee was planning to get married, and was expected to move out of state as a result of the marriage. Surveillance was done for the cost of $6,317.20 with the goal of trying to get video of her getting on a plane after she repeatedly called off sick.
One instance of an employee suspected of being a teacher and a real estate agent involved an investigator from CIC pretending to be a prospective home buyer to set up an appointment during school hours.
A few of the requests for investigation came from anonymous phone calls or e-mails; the majority did not list where the suspicion stemmed from.
In April of 2004 one CIC investigation request was to do surveillance on a meeting being held by employees at Thomas A. DeVilbiss High School and to videotape employees leaving the meeting, $601.50 was invoiced for this.
Using the most current TPS directory, it appears only four of those investigated are currently employees of Toledo Public Schools. These investigations for the most part were listed as being ordered by Dan Burns as the primary source, yet there were several other TPS employees listed as the second contact.
It was also stated on one invoice that Dan Burns preferred reports to be sent to him via e-mail using password protected MS Word documents and listed the password needed for those documents.
In addition to the billing for surveillance, video and costs related to sources, there were several invoices that involved the cost of rental cars. This was in addition to the two different types of vans billed for by CIC. In one case, a report was sought from out of State and was billed as a part of an investigation.
The reports do not indicate the end result of any of these investigations, only brief notes that were contained on the case sheets. There were several names listed in invoices that did not have a case sheet to be able to determine what the purpose of the investigation was.
In one invoice, $5,150 was spent on a background check and surveillance of another individual who was on special assignment to Bowling Green University in February of 2004.
The basis of the request that had the names of Dan Burns and Clinton Faulkner on it and said, “People have smelled alcohol on her breath during the day. She’s rumored to never go to BGSU.”
Thirteen instances of surveillance, including “surveillance @ residence with video – tail – travel” were recorded.