Thursday, July 18, 2019

You Be the Judge; Part 3

     Apparently I struck a nerve; maybe two.  It seems that Mark Jewell and Todd Warren have taken issue with my blog posts.  Mr. Jewell posted on Facebook that my post was "totally inaccurate".  Mr. Warren posted on the same Facebook thread that "Marc Ridgill has a problem with 10,000 people electing one person to represent them".  I did respond (you knew that I would) and offered to change and correct any of the information that I posted that is inaccurate.  Of course, that information came from a public records request provided by Guilford County Schools as well as federal 990 tax forms filed by NCAE for tax years 2014, 2015, and 2016.  No opinions.  No assumptions.  If the numbers are wrong then let's get them right.  What are the inaccuracies?  No response as of this writing.
     I have directly emailed both the NCAE and GCAE for copies of their 990 federal tax forms for tax years 2017 and 2018.  By federal law, non-profit organizations are required to produce them for inspection upon request.  No response or acknowledgement of that request has been received from either organization.  Mr. Jewell reiterated on that Facebook thread that "no taxpayer dollars are spent on his salary and that the organizations  reimburse Guilford County Schools for their salaries".  Also, both Mr. Jewell and Mr. Warren point out that they "suspend paying into their retirement accounts" by law apparently as a sacrifice for serving in their respective positions full time.  Both refer to their organizations as "unions" with Mr. Warren taking credit on one Facebook post for "shutting down the school system for two days during the past year".
     A couple points of order.  The last time the GCAE put a number on their membership that number according to a school board member was 358.  Close to half of that number was school staff including custodians, bus drivers and cafeteria workers.  GCAE apparently started including these folks as prospective members when their number of teacher members shrank.  Guilford County School's roster does record over 10,000 employees but "10,000 people" did not elect Todd Warren to represent them.  As for "reimbursement" to GCS, we have seen zero documentation to this effect.  According to the Rhino Times article written in 2017 about this very issue, Mark Jewell and GCS Chief Financial Officer Angela Henry both stated that reimbursement was occurring however no documentation of reimbursement has ever been presented.  We have documentation from GCS that Jewell and Warren are holding a position with the school system and are being paid by the school system.  We have 990 federal tax forms that NCAE is paying Jewell.  We have no documentation from GCS or entries on NCAE's 990 tax forms that reimbursement is occurring.  If it is, documentation from both GCS and NCAE that correlates will easily clear up this issue.  Then we can deal with the issue of why this arrangement exists.
     Also, Mr. Warren has expressed a concern that people believe that he has committed some crime because of my questions and blog post.  My position is that I have not accused them of any crime to date.  I have asked questions to which readers can form their own opinions.  I would caution readers to wait until all of the documentation can be observed before forming any opinions and certainly from making accusations no matter what the preliminary information leads each individual to believe. 
     GCAE's most recent available 990 tax form is from tax year 2016 which was not filed until January 8, 2018..  Angela Waiters (Jackson) was listed as president earning a salary of $74, 856.00.  At the time she was employed by GCS.  There is no entry under "expenditures" on the 990 form to GCS.  She was the outgoing president as Todd Warren is listed as the incoming president for 2017 and actually signed the 990 form.  He did not receive a salary for this tax year as he was still actively teaching in a classroom for GCS and had yet to take full time office.  Angela Waiters began teaching for GCS July 8, 2002.  She resigned from GCS effective June 30, 2018.
     Is it reasonable to assume that Todd Warren received similar compensation for tax years 2017 and 2018?  We know from GCS documentation that he last served as a teacher through June 30, 2017.  We know that his status on April 15, 2019 was listed by GCS as "on loan".  We know that on April 29, 2019, his status was changed by GCS (as was Mr. Jewell's) to "leave of absence'.  Why the change?  Further, why the change by GCS after first attempting to tell me that their date of last teaching assignment was not public information?
     Again, correlated documentation would serve to clear up whether or not Mr. Warren and Mr. Jewell are receiving compensation from Guilford County Schools.  For me, the existence of this arrangement seems "political" at best.  If Mr. Warren and Mr. Jewell are not participating in retirement or benefits provided by employment with Guilford County Schools, what possible reason exists for this arrangement?  None of the GCAE presidents that served between the terms of Mark Jewell and Todd Warren are still employed with the school system and apparently did not return to the classroom after their terms were over.  Those three were Elizabeth Foster, Joan Bass and Angela Waiters (Jackson).  Mark Jewell is currently actively campaigning for election to the National Educator's Association (NEA) board of directors.  It seems to be well known among teachers that Todd Warren has his sights set on an NCAE position.  Neither have any plans whatsoever to return to a GCS classroom. 
     Mr. Jewell and Mr. Warren insist that nothing "nefarious" is going on.  I'm not to the point of agreeing or disagreeing with them; yet.  However, GCS documentation clearly assigns approximately $140,000.00 in salary expenditures to these two individuals as "teachers" with no documentation indicating any receipts from these organizations or expenditures to GCS from these organizations.  If this is above board, why the mystery?   



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