Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost To Recommend Criminal Charges Against Columbus City School District

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From 10TV WBNS Columbus:

Ohio’s state auditor told Columbus City Schools that criminal charges could come following an attendance probe.

10 Investigates obtained the letter Auditor Dave Yost’s office sent to the school district with those allegations and several others last week.

The letter, sent last Thursday, said that “There is a strong likelihood that at the conclusion of the CCS investigation, individuals will be referred for criminal prosecution.”

The auditor’s office said that it does not believe investigators have received all records and that district interviews with staff interfered with the auditor’s investigation.

The letter came as the state auditor investigates allegations that the district manipulated its attendance records to improve its standings to possibly receive more federal funds.

The auditor’s office told 10 Investigates that it has separated the Columbus City School District from other districts as part of its investigation.

Bill Owen, the auditor’s office’s top attorney, said that it was clear his work could lead to criminal charges.

“You’re going to have the possibility of referrals for prosecution,” Owen said.

Owen said that investigators found that employees who were questioned by the auditor were later subjected to interference and intimidation by their bosses.

“When I see a witness who was talked to by an administrator and the next day calls and is crying because they were talked to by an administrator and they’re worried, they’re going to lose their job, that gives us rise for concern,” Owen said.

The letter sent to the district also alleged that district officials also purposefully changed grades from Ds to Fs, which could have serious consequences with the federal government.

Read the full story here.

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