Authorities awaiting audit results in financial probe of Blackfoot charters

BLACKFOOT — Authorities are awaiting the results of an outside audit as part of an investigation into past financial transactions at two Blackfoot charter schools, Bingham County Prosecutor Paul Rogers said.

As a result, the investigation may “take a little longer,” Rogers told EdNews Thursday.

News of the audit marks the latest in a months-long probe into Blackfoot Charter Community Learning Center and Bingham Academy.

On May 28, Idaho Public Charter School Commission chairman Alan Reed wrote a letter to Rogers, saying the schools’ former administrator, Fred Ball, might have violated Idaho’s bribery and corrupt influence laws and other state codes. Reed’s letter followed a $20,000 forensic audit, requested by the commission, focusing on transactions involving modular classrooms at the schools.

Rogers OK’d an investigation into the matter and later received an initial investigation report. After reviewing the report, Rogers said he asked for further investigation.

A report on the followup investigation and audit results is still not completed, Rogers said, adding, “It’s been a super long time.”

The Blackfoot charters together served about 750 students last school year, with budgets totaling some $4.3 million.

Blackfoot is located in East Idaho, about 25 miles north of Pocatello.

Devin Bodkin

About Devin Bodkin

Reporter Devin Bodkin covers education issues in East Idaho. He is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. Devin co-hosts "Beyond the Books" online news segments in conjunction with EastIdahoNews.com. He is a 2019 Solutions Journalism Network fellow. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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