|SCHOOL FOUNDER & FORMER HEAD VALERIE TATUM IS REPORTED TO HAVE STOLEN $188K|
According to a report filed February 13th by Phong Tran, the superintendent of the now shuttered Covenant Keepers charter school, school founder and former superintendent Valerie Tatum made $188, 905.93 in unauthorized transactions from the school's checking account.
The full police report can be viewed by clicking here.
The Arkansas Department of Education revoked the schools charter in an emergency meeting on February 15th, after learning of Tatum's theft.
The school was left with $15,000 in its operating account, not quite enough for a payroll that was due on the 15th due and well short of another $44,000 owed this week for payroll, teacher retirement, food service and other costs, according to a story on the Arkansas Blog by Max Brantley.
Tatum is also reported to have recently removed furniture and equipment from the school.
Joe Harris, chief operating officer of the Washington, D.C.-based Friendship Education Foundation, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that Tatum, had acquired a total of $188,905.93 in three withdrawals made from U.S Bank in the past two weeks.
Friendship Education Foundation is running Covenant Keepers school this year on behalf of the City of Fire Community Development Inc., a nonprofit organization that holds the state charter that allows Covenant Keepers to operate and receive state funding.
Tatum is listed as the Agent and a director for City of Fire Community Development Inc.
When the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette asked Tatum about the allegations, Tatum declined to comment without her lawyer and would not disclose the name of her attorney.
Tatum has a sketchy history with the school and the Arkansas Department of Education.
Tatum had been found to have been involved in self-dealing in regard to a loan she made to the school back in 2015 when the school was placed on probation.
Tatum also had some problems following state laws when she illegally ran for the Ward 2 position on the Little Rock City Board. You can read all about that on our Bad City of Little Rock blog by clicking here.
Tatum has a complaint filed against her at the Arkansas Ethics Commission for illegal campaign contributions and could face a fine of $2,500.00 and a referral for criminal charges.
You can read the ethics complaint by clicking here.
Joan Adcock, a long in the tooth at-large Little Rock City Director, was instrumental in keeping the school open back in 217 when the Department of Education was going to revoke its charter. You can hear what she had to say in the video posted below.
Adcock has never made an appearance before the education board to plead for the return of local control of the Little Rock School District.
Adcock needs to be removed as she has long outlived her usefulness. Take a look at how she really feels about folks of color. http://badlittlerock.blogspot.com/2016/12/lr-board-of-director-joan-adcock-lone.html
Adcock once complained that SW Little Rock was becoming "little Mexico" but in order to stay in office has pandered to the Little Rock Latino community.
We wonder what old Joan thinks about her friend Tatum and the theft of funds...will old Joan stand up for her again?
Tatum was a sorry ass administrator. So much so that a parent filed a lawsuit against her. Tatum wanted a student to "voluntarily" leave the school for allegedly attempting to buy an iPod.
The lawsuit after some failed attempts by Tatum to have it dismissed was settled.
If you are curious as to why the motions to dismiss failed, it was because Tatum's lawyer failed to appear at a hearing she asked for about her motion.
***UPDATE - 5/8/19 ***
The Arkansas Ethics Commission has finally set a date for a probable cause hearing on the illegal campaign activity of Tatum - May 17th at 9:30 a.m.
Stay tuned for updates.