It’s kinda hard to wrap your brain around this, but parents who brought up concerns about Stacey Lore, and Spectrum Kids LLC, have finally seen some criminal action in the matter. Stacey Lore was arrested in New York State Tuesday on the following charges:
The first warrant charges Lore with one count of Larceny in the First Degree, one count of Forgery in the Second Degree and one count of Criminal Impersonation in which the victim was the Norwalk Public School system. Lore had billed the Norwalk Public Schools a total of $155,781.25 for services rendered in 2007 and 2008. Lore is being held on a bond of $150,000.00 for this case.
The other two warrants also charge Lore with one count of Larceny in the First Degree, one count of Forgery in the Second Degree and one count of Criminal Impersonation respectively. Local families, using their own funds, were the victims in these two cases in which Lore was paid $12,706.00 and $21,364.50 for services rendered. Lore is being held on a bond of $25,000 for each of these cases.
If we dial up the wayback machine, it was October of 2008 when The Hour broke the story about the accounting discrepencies by Spectrum Kids. Then, as in now, we must ask who knew about this and what was being done about it. Well, it turns out that Corda waited till March of 2009 before triggering the Norwalk Police Investigation. What took so long?
The investigation was opened on March 18th, 2009 by the Norwalk Police Department after then Superintendent Sal Corda of the Norwalk Public Schools filed a complaint concerning the credentials that Stacy A. Lore of Spectrum Kids LLC represented herself to have for the services she was providing for Autistic children.
Detective David Orr began the investigation by conducting several interviews and gathering information from the State of Connecticut Office of the Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Education. On June 4th, 2009 Detective Orr executed a search warrant for the banking records of Lore and then a search warrant at the residence of Lore at 39 Scotsdale Road, Carmel, N.Y. with the assistance of the Putnam County Sheriffs Office. Numerous business records and documents were seized.
Detective Orr continued on, reviewing numerous documents related to Spectrum Kids LLC and was able to determine that the credentials represented by Stacy A. Lore were fraudulent. It was determined that Stacy A. Lore had only earned a G.E.D. from the Board of Cooperative Educational Services of New York State (B.O.C.E.S.), a vocational school in State of New York .
Detective Orr’s investigation also identified that Stacy Lore of Spectrum Kids LLC had provided services for several other School Districts in Fairfield County and Westchester County and they will be notified of the Norwalk Police Department’s investigation and the evidence recovered should they wish to file a complaint within their local jurisdictions.
It would seem that former superintendent Sal Corda holds some responsibility in this as well. Why wait? Why drag his feet? Why allow months to trickle by before getting the police involved?
Well, we can assume an answer in that one. For one It wasn’t until Stuart Opdahl resigned as Chief Operations Officer, in March of 2008, that Corda had to take some responsibility for the state of the finances of the district. Back then I called for a forensic audit of the BOE books. Was it ever done? Of course not, because a forensic audit would have revealed lickety-split, that there was far more than mere kitchens and wood working tools that were misappropriated. There was that whole professional services issue to look into.
So we are here today. Corda has gone, but then we are still paying his lifetime benefits aren’t we? Shouldn’t he held personally liable for his complete failure to conduct an immediate investigation? I mean, seriously, The Hour, managed to do one, so how difficult was it?