The Washington Post’s Allison Michael Chandler revealed yesterday that former prominent WUSA Channel 9 newscaster J.C. Hayward has been removed from the legal case over the millions of dollars in public funds two private companies diverted from the severely disadvantaged and disabled children attending Options PCS in return for a payment from her of $8,500 to the charter.
At the time the story broke in late 2013 about financial regularities at Options it was revealed that Ms. Hayward was the board chair of the school during the period that contracts were signed between the school and two companies, Exceptional Education Services (EES) and Exceptional Education Management Corporation (EEMC), for exorbitant fees charged to the school for services. From my article published in early January of the following year about the case:
“Extremely unfortunately, we begin 2014 exactly the way we ended last year: with another news story revealing more sordid information about the financial irregularities regarding public funds and Options PCS. This time the Washington Post’s Emma Brown tells us, among other things, that while Jeremy Williams was the D.C. Public Charter School Board’s chief financial officer it is alleged he was paid $150,000 to hide the shenanigans that resulted in the school’s executives diverting three million dollars to their own pockets. New court papers claim that television anchor J.C. Hayward owned shares in one of the for-profit companies established by the school’s senior team as a tool to transfer money to them from the charter, and was paid $8,500 a shot to attend the firm’s board meetings. The Post reporter adds this finding about the team members:
‘In all, EES received $974,850 from Options for bus transportation, according to court documents. The company paid Deadwyler [Transportation] $309,200 to run the buses, and it paid [Donna] Montgomery, [Paul] Dalton and [David] Cranford hundreds of thousands of dollars on top of the full-time salaries and bonuses they were already receiving for working at the charter school.'”
In all it is alleged that approximately $3 million dollars were diverted from Options to the private firms led by school management.
Ms.Hayward’s attorney Jeffrey Jacobovitz is quoted in today’s Post story as commenting about yesterday’s development that “Ms. Hayward is delighted that she will be able to leave a lasting legacy.” Only time will tell.