Broken Arrow Public Schools audit release pending review

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 26-Apr-2010

NOTE: This is adapted from a press release distributed Monday afternoon, April 26 by the office of the Oklahoma auditor and inspector.

Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector Steve Burrage sought to clarify earlier news accounts regarding the finalization and public release of an investigative audit into Broken Arrow Public Schools.

“The audit is still in draft form and its release is pending a review by the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office,” Burrage said.

It is a common practice for the State Auditor’s office to meet with the appropriate law enforcement agency when an audit’s findings raise questions of compliance with laws. A draft of the audit was discussed with Assistant Attorney General Tom Bates late last week. Following the meeting, AAG Bates asked that the audit be held until his office could review it thoroughly to determine what, if any, additional investigation needs to be conducted.

This investigative audit was requested by the Broken Arrow Public Schools Board. As such, state law requires a 14-day waiting period on the release of an investigative audit of a school district following a review of the audit by school board members and a district’s superintendent or a designee. The State Auditor’s office will continue with this process as soon as the Attorney General’s Office has an opportunity to complete its review.

 “I know this is a controversial matter and the school patrons of Broken Arrow are anxious to see it resolved,” Burrage said. “We’ve conducted an exhaustive and thorough examination of the issues raised by the Broken Arrow School Board, and we’ll issue the final report at the appropriate time. I would ask all parties with an interest in this matter to remain patient. The process may seem slow, but my office will be deliberate and responsible with the release of audits.”

This morning, state Rep. Mike Reynolds, a “watch dog” on fiscal issues, issued an update from his perspective of the Broken Arrow investigation. CapitolBeatOK reported the content of the email from Assistant Attorney General Tom Bates asking the auditor’s office to refrain from releasing the audit until the staff of Attorney General Drew Edmondson has an opportunity to review the matter.