PENN HILLS (KDKA) — The Penn Hills School Board met Monday night in the first meeting since last week’s bombshell audit report from the state auditor general, which strongly criticized the district’s financial mismanagement.
Virginia Dougherty, of Penn Hills, said, “We feel we are caged animals, and in frustration, we turn on one another.”
Former School Director Carolyn Faggioli admitted when she was on the board, members knew they were faced with a worsening financial situation.
Faggioli said part of the problem, she believed, was due to outside influence.
“We need to get our heads out of the sand,” Faggioli said. “We need to take politics out of the school board; we will be much better off.”
Despite suggestions that maybe the state should appoint a financial recovery officer to straighten out district finances, the school superintendent doesn’t think that will happen.
Dr. Nancy Hines said, “While this is certainly an option available to the state, it is my opinion the State Department of Education is not moving in that direction, at least not for now.”
Adding a little levity to the situation, Betty Maguire was selling “Penn Hills Just Charge It” tee-shirts outside the school. However, she was later told to move because she didn’t have the proper permit.
“Now this kind of stuff is going on. I’m embarrassed to even say I live in Penn Hills,” Maguire said.
Last week, the Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said thousands of dollars were charged on district credit cards with little or no oversight.
School Board member Erin Vecchio said she would not be voting on district finances, until she finds out who might be charged criminally with mismanaging district funds.