Quest Academy principal gets a slap on the wrist
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Quest Academy gets millions of our tax dollars and they want our trust. But the state says they've abused both. And although they've taken some action since Contact 13 began investigating two months ago, the state says it mayPhoto: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Quest Academy gets millions of our tax dollars and they want our trust. But the state says they've abused both. And although they've taken some action since Contact 13 began investigating two months ago, the state says it may be too little too late.
Chief Investigator Darcy Spears continues her quest for answers in this 'You Paid For It' investigation.
Connie Jordan is the charter school principal who's been caught with her hand in the taxpayer's cookie jar to the tune of $15,000.
Neither Jordan's math nor her explanations add up as to why she took the money. The board president who signed the three $5,000 checks to Jordan has resigned and won't respond to questions. Neither will anyone else.
Facing possible revocation of their school charter, the Quest Board at the eleventh hour finally took some action on Monday night. They're requiring Jordan to pay back the money, but allowing her to keep her job. Some of her supporters ran interference when we tried to ask her about that.
"What about the money?" Darcy asked.
"Well, that's not been determined yet," said Annette Green.
"They said that she was not entitled to it and she had to return it. That's what your board just said," Darcy replied.
"Well then, what else did the board say? The board said they think she should stay! Why do you have this camera in my face?" Green said.
In recent months, Quest has lost 10 teachers and many parents have withdrawn their students. State audits from the past few years have turned up patterns of financial non-compliance and fiscal impropriety.
"It's a shame that things got this far," said Elissa Wall, a board member.
The State Public Charter School Authority Board put Quest Academy on the hot seat at a Tuesday meeting.
"We gotta make some changes here because we're very frustrated with what's going on," said Michael Van.
Van, also a board member, called Quest's administration completely dysfunctional, saying parents have the right to be furious. He was particularly concerned about how Quest handled Connie Jordan's misappropriation of public money.
"Based upon comments of the board, those who have been substantiated that funds have been misappropriated," Van said. "If that's the case, there's a concern that I have as to why she would still be in that position."
Marivelle Nunez Rucker says the school is working to address the state's ongoing concerns.
"it's very common for the public not to see what's happening behind the scenes," she said.
Parents and students broke down in tears, pleading with the state to throw their school a life raft. But that may not be possible unless those steering the ship are held properly accountable.
Quest's newly-expanded board will immediately begin working with the state, essentially entering into a contract with a deadline to fix things and restore the public's trust within three and a half months, or face a revocation hearing.