Board fires principal of Quest Academy
The investigation at Quest Academy continuesPhoto: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The principal at Quest Academy public charter school is out of a job.
The decision was made at a board meeting Monday night.
Principal Connie Jordan was caught with her hand in the taxpayers' cookie jar. The Quest Board found she gave unapproved bonuses to select employees, may have demanded kickbacks from those bonuses, bought expensive electronics on the school credit card, and held business meetings at restaurants like Hooters.
Quest is a school with no music program, no Spanish language classes, little technology, and their special education program is out of compliance with state law.
Students there are supposed to be getting a superior education to that they'd find in a Clark County School District setting, but they're lacking some of the basic things CCSD students get.
Even so, Quest is giving thousands of dollars in bonuses to administrators, spending tax dollars on expensive electronics as performance awards for students, spending $600 a month to rent storage space at a dental office owned by the Principal's friend and eating out all over town.
Jordan's school credit card showed taxpayers footed the bill for 21 meals out in just 45 days where the average meal price was $70. The total bill for that time frame came to more than $1,500.
Jordan told the board, "I'm honest. I'm good. And I'm trying to be great." She believed every dollar spent was justified.
But the Quest Board had more questions than Jordan had answers for about missing money, altered contracts, kickbacks and teachers quitting.
One parent told the board her son had been through seven teachers in the past four months.
"What child deserves to have seven teachers?" Missy Delarosa demanded of the board.
Supporters of Connie Jordan called the board meeting a witch hunt and many turned it into a racial issue, quoting scripture and threatening the wrath of God.
They even blamed the State Public Charter School Authority for targeting African American board members like Vernon Law, who we spoke to in November when the state and the board were beginning their investigations.
"You've got a school divided. You've got a school falling apart and crumbling under your nose," Chief Investigator Darcy Spears said after a contentious November board meeting.
"Believe it or not, at the end of the day it is about our students," Law responded. "And I am here for our students."
Apparently not. Vernon Law is not here for the students. In fact, he's not here at all. At the most crucial time in the school's history, instead of taking the controversial action needed to save the school, the board's acting president just walked away... leaving others to do the dirty work.
Just like Christina Fuentes, the former board president who resigned in disgrace after the State Public Charter School Authority found she colluded with Principal Connie Jordan to cover up $15,000 Jordan took in unapproved bonuses.
The board also told Jordan they have evidence captured on school video cameras of her and other school employees destroying documents on Martin Luther King Day, when the campus was closed for a school holiday.
All CCSD employees work for the Clark County School District, but Quest employees work for the state. So their actions are governed by the Attorney General in cases where crimes are suspected.
And that's exactly what's happening now. Because the board is concerned that Connie Jordan and some others may have committed crimes against the taxpayers, this case has been forwarded to the Attorney General for further investigation.