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Lehighton to conduct forensic audit

Published August 14. 2019 02:39PM

Lehighton Area School District’s quest to find a firm to conduct a forensic audit of its finances is set to begin.

Business Administrator Patricia Denicola told the district’s finance committee on Monday that advertisements will start this week.

“It will be advertised in the newspaper and we’ll also send it to a list of potential forensic auditors who have an understanding of the public school system,” she said.

Lehighton’s board unanimously ordered the audit in June following a motion by director David Bradley.

Bradley cited Jim Thorpe Area School District, Penn Hills, Scranton and several other districts as examples of why he pushed for a forensic audit in Lehighton.

“These are all situations where the board failed to oversee subordinate employees,” Bradley said at the time. “Things get kicked down the road. That’s been happening here for at least 10 years. It doesn’t make it right.”

Denicola said she welcomed a forensic audit but did not recommend using the district’s existing auditor.

“I believe a new set of eyes sees things a little more clearly,” she said.

After the advertisement, firms will likely have at least another month to respond.

Jim Thorpe School District recently underwent a “forensic review” by Brown Schultz Sheridan and Fritz. The review was supposed to determine whether there were any improprieties with respect to expenditures on district credit cards used by business manager Lauren Kovac and former Superintendent Brian Gasper.

The report is finished, but the school board is determining whether or not it will be made public.

We have such a mess of debt, a legacy of debt. The debt payments exceed the $3M mark and the interest rate increases in a few years.

The auditor general was invited to provide some transparency and decided to do their audit early.

With the current feckless regime, the district stakeholders are losing hope. If we can change their attitude, provide transparency, and move toward proper governance we have a chance.


Citizen David F. Bradley Sr.

Good afternoon. This district is a total mess. The district lacks a proper and professional decision making process, and fails in the responsibility to provide a leadership hierarchy with proper oversight.

The mini list of things I feel should be properly looked into for improvement.

1) Illegal use of educational funds for SLAPP resolution. (PA School Code)
2) Use of educational funds to fight the RIght to Know law(s), and fights requesters despite lawful responsibility, and oath to follow the law. (PA School Code)
3) Use of educational funds to fight the constitutionality of the RTKL (PA School Code)
4) FInancial lies told the directors by the administration. Lack of transparency. (Lehighton School Policy)
5) Use of educational funds to attack board members, create false reports, and later host a farcical liberty hearing. (PA School Code, LASD Policy, Labor Law)
6) Use of educational funds in non-edcational purposes, and not in accordance with the PA school Code as lawful use. (PA School Code)
7) Waste and corruption on contracts negotiations. (LASD Policy)
8) Failure to provide oversight of administration and their use of funds and creation of contracts without board approval. (LASD Policy, PA School Code)
9) Hiring practices (LASD Policy, Sunchine Act)
10) Lack of transparency and oversight to the transition between business manager's, specifically related tongoveranc of the bank transition that cost the district hundreds of thousands of dollars. (LASD Policy, Basic business practices, Professional code of ethics).

Implementing a clean government of, by and for the people is the goal. Protect the children, save the district.


I seek the apology and resignations of the five board member that neglect their duty under the PA School Code to oversee the disbursement of educational funds by the administration.


Citizen David F. Bradley, Sr.
Lehighton Area School District Board
Larry Stern

August 15, 2019

Re: Proper governance – The TD Bank motion
Dear Larry Stern,

Good morning.  The finance committee meeting had statements made by Superintendent Jonathan Cleaver and Business manager Patricia Denicola and others.

They document a series of actions that appear to be the result of gross insubordination to a November 2018 board directive, passed 9-0. Rita Spinelli, Andrew Yenser and yourself, Larry Stern seem to be the purveyors of this insubordination.

The duty to comply with lawful orders provided by the government board is paramount. 

To neglect the responsibility to add security protection to the student’s educational funds as directed was inexcusable. The neglect of lawful duty by Director Rita Spinelli and Director Andrew Yenser, and yourself Larry Stern, are also inexcusable. 

We, as a board, should add an agenda item to investigate the actions of Rita Spinelli, Larry Stern and Andrew Yenser to ensure nefarious activities are not taking place within our district.     

The willful neglect of the five individuals known as the feckless five rubber stampers,
Rita Spinelli,
Andrew Yenser,
Wayne Wentz,
Larry Stern, and
Steve Holland have been well documented. (see the data below this document).

I am duty bound to request the five stampers provide this district with an apology and their resignation.

Larry, Please add an agenda item, and motion to the next board meeting.
Discuss the neglect of duty found and documented involving actions and lack of actions from Larry Stern, Rita Spinelli and Andrew Yenser, specifically.

Motion:  The board formally requests Rita Spinelli, Andrew Yenser and Larry Stern to submit a written apology and formal resignation from the district government for their neglect of duty.


Citizen David F. Bradley, Sr.


Good morning. Corruption and waste are disgusting, not entertaining. Exposing Andrew Yenser's lack of fidelity to the stakeholders is notable, and our responsibility as citizens. They may be entertaining and laughable to you, but people could lose their homes, and that is not laughable or entertaining.

If you found the time to actually read the emails, the data, and expose the lies these rubber stampers are telling, you will see just how disgusting these government's action have become. Where is your sense of morality?


Citizen David F Bradley, Sr.

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