If you always tell the truth, you never have to remember exactly what you said.
While less-than-truthful can run the gamut from deception to outright prevarication, why have so many involved in the Grand Traverse Academy board's financial fiasco chosen deception as the foundation of their communications strategy?
TELLING A STORY...OR TELLING IT STRAIGHT
Two days after a former Full Spectrum Management employee blew the whistle in an email revealing Mark Noss had been making $12,500 monthly payments to Steven Ingersoll for nearly two years, the Grand Traverse Academy broke ground for a new classroom building.
In its coverage, a local television station quoted Superintendent Susan Dameron, saying the "project is costing the school around $3 million".
But "the school" isn't building the new expansion, and the Academy's board has already agreed to pay Mark Noss and his MDN Development partners $3.9 million dollars to purchase the building in 2019.
As you can see below, the February 1, 2019 one-time purchase option reveals the $3.9 million dollar purchase price was calculated to balance "the purchase price with the loan and associated risk to the lessor", MDN Development.
The “lessee (the Grand Traverse Academy) may exercise an option to purchase the building, fixtures and premises from the lessor on February 1, 2019 for a sum of Three Million Nine Hundred Thousand Dollars ($3,900,000)”, $900,000 more than Dameron claimed the building would cost.
In his prepared statement, Mark Noss was quoted by the Traverse City Record-Eagle asserting he agreed to put his "personal assets on the line and take the risk on behalf of the school."
Sure looks like there's at least a $900,000 reward coming for assuming that so-called "risk".
HE AIN'T HEAVY, HE'S MY BUSINESS PARTNER
Thanks to a courageous whistleblower, the government now has evidence that reveals Mark Noss deceived the Grand Traverse Academy board when he stated during it's December 17, 2015 meeting that he "has no business relationship with Dr. Ingersoll at the present time". The meeting minutes reveal Noss even offered corporate papers of his companies for the board's review, as if evidence of his now-revealed $12,500 monthly payments to Ingersoll would somehow be discovered within those documents.
Noss, who's already floated three versions of his payment story, has repeatedly claimed Ingersoll's federal fraud convictions involve his personal taxes and have nothing (nothing!) to do with the Grand Traverse Academy.
Wonder how many more secrets are still buried, just waiting to emerge.
I AND STEVE ARE 2 OF THE FIVE: WHO ARE THE OTHERS?
The most infamous Grand Traverse Academy board-related flip-flop happened back on December 8, 2015 in U. S. District Court.
Ask yourself this question: how is it that a sitting Michigan charter school board president can reveal under oath in federal court that the head of the university charter school office that oversaw his school, and a convicted felon who'd managed the school for nearly fourteen years, were all "perusing" a business deal...and it doesn't make news?
Beginning in November 2014, Grand Traverse Academy Board president Brad Habermehl covertly solicited a $300,000 investment "loan" from a business associate for a potential "private school" project on behalf of his "friend and colleague" Steven Ingersoll, with Habermehl admitting only after Ingersoll's conviction that he was one of the project's five partners.
After Ingersoll was found guilty in U. S. District Court on March 10, 2015 on two counts of attempting to evade or defeat tax and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, Habermehl continued to pitch the school project, touting the $300,000 loan as a "very good investment with a good return."
After being confronted in court with his emails, Habermehl cracked and admitted, after an initial denial, that one of the five was Bruce Harger, former head of Lake Superior State University's charter school office.
So who are the other two, and could this investment have been intended to fund the construction of the Grand Traverse Academy's expansion?
Don't know the answer to the question, but I know who to ask. If only they'd answer me.
Pour me another glass of Fool-Aid!