EDUCATION

Attorney recommends policy changes in wake of Montgomery Co. school board credit card scandal

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WJLA) - An attorney has made a number of recommendations to the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) board after ABC7's Watchdog unit unveiled misuse of official credit cards by board members.

An attorney hired by the school district said Tuesday that he recommended the following actions going forward:

♦ Board members should stop using credit cards, and should not be given credit cards in the future.

♦ The school district should consider giving board members a per diem allowance when they go away on business trips.

♦ Discontinue the practice of allowing reimbursement for home Internet service.

♦ Do not allow school board members to stay in hotels for official events that take place in the D.C. Metro area.

The recommendations will go before the school board for discussion next week.

ABC7's Watchdog reported earlier this month that board member Chris Barclay and Roland Ikheloa - the employee in charge of approving credit card expenses - had made a number of personal charges to their school district-issued American Express cards.

Records show Barclay made 14 unauthorized purchases on his card over 18 months. He alleged that his "mistakenly" used the card instead of his personal card on all 14 occasions.

Ikheloa made five purchases for a total of $750 on his card over the same 18 months. The charges included $36.56 for groceries at Giant, $50 for dry-cleaning at Sargent Cleaners, and $581.87 at Mr. Tire in Rockville.

Ikheloa also alleged he used the wrong card mistakenly, and said he immediately paid the school district back - though records indicate it took up to 75 days for him to make the reimbursement.

 

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