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Schools to Undergo Independent Audit as Gagnon Named Interim Superintendent

A large deficit led the school district to call on an independent auditor to review all of the school district's finances.

Robert Gagnon, who was named an assistant superintendent just six months ago, is now serving as the interim superintendent of schools as the Manatee County School Board searches for a Superintendent who can clean up the mess Tim McGonegal left behind with an immediate resignation Monday.

The district is dealing with a major deficit that will require a state-approved plan to fix, the finances are in disarray as the public calls on external auditors to come in and figure out who financial leaders forgot to include expenses for teachers and textbooks in the school budget and the board is fractured as the public has lost confidence in the school district.

At Monday night's meeting Dave Miner, who is running for a seat on the school board, objected to Gagnon's appointment as interim Superintendent because McGonegal chose Gagnon as the interim.

Gagnon said he would only accept the interim position if the district would hire an independent, outide auditor to examine the school's finances and to find out how the district ended up in the situation he is in. Gagnon also said he wants to preserve his reputation as an educator. His speech won approval and applause from the audience.

Members of the public also demanded an outside audit that they expect to be transparent to the public. The meeting lasted about six hours as the board tried to figure out how to move forward after accepting McGonegal's immediate resignation.

The Herald Tribune reported that McGonegal's resignation emailacknoledges that the "depth of the errors made his position untenable."

"A leader takes responsibility of the results of their organization. The financial results for 11/12 are unacceptable," McGonegal wrote. "I held administrators to a very high standard and I will hold myself to the same standard. I feel this is the best decision for the school system."

The School board must approve the district's budget this month, but still has many questions as new leaders take the helm.

The Bradenton Herald reported that an audit committee could meet as soon as Wednesday to begin go over the budget. The public meetingis designed to help the board find an auditor, who will review the district's finances.

To see the meeting go to http://www.metvweb.com/Daily_Schedule.html and click on watch live.

Jeff September 11, 2012 at 08:43 PM
How is it these people just resin. I would go straight to jail in the real world.
Judith Behrens September 12, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I do not think Dr. McGonegal is totally to blame for this matter. I commend him for accepting the blame as good leaders should do. I am saddened at his departure but I can understand his frustrations as a leader when things like this happen. Gagnon deserves the nod as interim Superintendent and asking for an audit is the best decision for MCPS.

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