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EDITORIAL: Clark County School District must have money to burn

Members of the Clark County School Board might consider developing a heightened sense of curiosity regarding an investigation they approved into a powerful district administrator. The taxpayers deserve answers.

The Review-Journal’s Amelia Pak-Harvey reported Thursday that between May and November the school district spent more than $58,000 to hire an outside law firm to look into allegations against Associate Superintendent Edward Goldman. The probe was in response to a letter from a former district employee sent to the trustees that alleged improprieties by Mr. Goldman, a longtime top executive.

But late last year, the district suspended the investigation — apparently without issuing any final conclusions or informing members of the School Board about the motivation for shutting it down.

“What disturbs me,” said Martin Kravitz, Mr. Goldman’s attorney, “is the idea that $50,000 was spent and Eddie offered to go meet with the investigator and they canceled the meeting and never issued a report.”

Ms. Pak-Harvey reports that School Board President Lola Brooks “said she did not know why the investigation had stopped, adding that she had not been recently briefed on the matter.”

Alrighty, then.

Mr. Goldman has remained on the payroll even though he isn’t working. He subsequently sued the district, accusing former Superintendent Pat Skorkowsy and other district officials of defaming and retaliating against him in response to various grievances.

District officials may be trying to cover their rears in regard to Mr. Goldman’s pending litigation, but that doesn’t justify simply burning $58,000 and tossing the ashes into the gutter. If the probe was counterproductive or unfruitful, the taxpayers — and Mr. Goldman — have a right to know.

If district officials have one common theme, it’s to constantly plead poverty. Yes, $58,000 represents pennies in the couch to this multibillion-dollar entity, but it seems awfully revealing that trustees don’t appear overly concerned about accountability or transparency when it comes to this expenditure.

The whole thing is a colossal mess. But at a minimum, Ms. Brooks and the trustees should stop the shoulder shrugs and show a little more interest in determining what the taxpayers received for their $58,000. What did the investigation uncover? Why was it halted? The public is owed an accounting.

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