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May 16, 2012 Published in Letters/Opinions

Who Found It First?

To the Editor:

I am sure that we all remember the various articles in alexandrianews, the Washington Post and the other local Alexandria papers telling the story of the problems with the CIP budget – the unpaid bills, the unrecorded bills, the statement from the CPA firm about the  “dysfunctional environment” in the  school system Finance Office.

And I am sure that we all remember the statements by the Superintendent that as soon as he found out about the problem, he called for an “audit” (which was NOT an audit, but an accountant’s review controlled by the same dysfunctional environment) and immediately called for corrective measures. The Superintendent took credit for action in every print media that covers Alexandria – remember those articles, folks? And no one corrected his statements – the Board just voted to 100% support him.

Now, as the primary for City Council is approaching, it appears that someone other than the Superintendent is  taking credit for action on the issue, or has credit being heaped on him by his supporters for any changes in the Finance Office and other measures that we hope will never have these problems re-occurring .  Several people have called me to tell me that Arthur Peabody found the errors in the budgets, called for an audit, which we did not get by the way, and was solely responsible for all changes and corrections being made. Just Mr. Peabody did all this. Friends of mine have gotten the same calls.

I am confused. Did the Superintendent find the problem and attempt to correct it – even though there was no audit, merely an accountant’s review – or did Mr. Peabody find all the problems, errors and mistakes and force the Superintendent to take his actions?  If so, why is this only being said now, in the last rush to get primary votes, and not before when the Superintendent had the interviews and articles in the papers? Surely Mr. Peabody would have wanted the record to be correct well before the last push for the primary. Wouldn’t he? I hope so.

Patricia A. Hennig
Controller Council on Competitiveness

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