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Angry Citizens Push For Criminal Investigation Of Skiatook Schools

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Concerned Skiatook parents and taxpayers meet Wednesday night. Concerned Skiatook parents and taxpayers meet Wednesday night.
Brett Sprangel, a concerned citizen at Wednesday's meeting, thinks anyone who steals should be punished. Brett Sprangel, a concerned citizen at Wednesday's meeting, thinks anyone who steals should be punished.

NewsOn6.com

SKIATOOK, OK -- Their superintendent is on suspension, but Skiatook School parents and taxpayers are still fighting mad. They met Wednesday evening to discuss getting the courts involved in the school district's financial scandal.

Many Skiatook taxpayers believe this is more than just half a million dollars worth of waste. They think it's a crime, and they're concerned the wheels of justice may move too slowly.

"And you steal a whole lot - you're immune - and that's what's going on here," said Brett Sprangel, a concerned citizen.

Anger and frustration percolated through Skiatook's community gymnasium. One theme kept rising to the top: these folks are not letting this go.

3/2/2010 Related Story: Skiatook School Board Votes To Suspend District Superintendent

"I think something needs to be done about it. I think he ought to be arrested," Sprangel said.

"We've been in the school system for 13 years here, and this isn't the first time something like this has come up," said Skiatook resident Molly Warr. "And it's time to do something. And end it."

A state audit released last week says Skiatook schools ended up paying double, triple, even quadruple the price for custodial supplies and security equipment, wasting half a million dollars - maybe more.

Skiatook's school board voted Tuesday night to suspend the man in charge of purchasing, Superintendent Doctor Gary Johnson. But these folks believe something criminal might have taken place.

"That's a lot of money, and I think, yes, where there's smoke there's fire in this situation," said Skiatook parent Rhonda Eller.

2/26/2010 Related Story: State Auditor: Skiatook Schools' Wasteful Spending May Not Be Isolated Case

They want to petition a Tulsa County judge for a grand jury investigation. If a judge approves, they would have a month and a half to gather enough signatures to convene a grand jury.

Some are skeptical of the power of the pen.

"I don't think anything's going to happen. I've signed it. And I'll support it. But I don't think anything's gonna happen. At best the guy will get fired," said concerned citizen Brett Sprangel.

Others believe this may be the only way to find out what really happened to their money.

"I just want it to be known that we're not going to stand back and be taken advantage of as taxpayers," said Molly Warr. "We work too hard for our money, and it's not right."

No one with Skiatook schools has been arrested or charged with any criminal conduct. The attorney general's office does have a copy of the state audit and is investigating.

 

 

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