Bruce Harger, former Lake Superior State University Charter Office Director, was a big fan of Steven Ingersoll -- even after receiving the May 30, 2013 Thrun Law Firm letter and an October 17, 2013 Dennis, Gartland & Niergarth letter detailing the CPA firm's "internal control recommendations" for the Grand Traverse Academy Board of Directors.
And now it appears that Harger, who was employed by LSSU until September 2015, was playing the game from both sides of the field!
Let's take a closer look at DGN's internal control recommendations.
As you can see from the excerpt shown at left, the document was sent to the GTA by CPA Mary Krantz with significant urgency. Coming on the heels of its September 10, 2013 forensic report, the recommendations cover cash handling, payroll, contracts and budgeting.
Here are screen captures of the DGN recommendations, as they appeared in the October 17, 2013 memo.
After reading the memo, Harger issues an email to Mark Noss on October 29, 2013, telling him that the recommendations "cause me some concern, and I believe it would be irresponsible for me not to bring these concerns to your attention.
So which one of these tough recommendations caused Harger such agita?
DGN's recommendation that the Grand Traverse Academy seek competitive bids from other management companies to determine if the current Smart Schools contract was "fair".
What the what?
Yes, it appears Harger is as much a booster of all things Steven Ingersoll as...Steven Ingersoll!
Hell, he even tells Noss that "the Charter School office would not hesitate to recommend the issuance of a charter to replicate GTA".
Harger goes on to tell Noss that he "would not say that for all of our academies and their ESPs."
Even after reading that the Grand Traverse Academy had shelled out $1,647,234 in management and curriculum fees to Ingersoll in 2012-2013, way above the $1,052,400 he should have received under the 12% of revenues "understanding" the Board maintains it extended to Ingersoll in May 2012, Harger's first impulse was to tell Noss he shouldn't take that management company competitive bidding benchmarking recommendation too seriously.
Putting the management service contract out for bid?
Why do that?
That would just leave less cheddar to spread around, right?
There's more to come!
[NOTE: The Harger letter was obtained by a Freedom of Information Act Request submitted to the Michigan Department of Education.]