Mr. Swaim’s big disappointment

William Swaim of the Broken Arrow Ledger was the only newspaper editor who chose to publish Combs’s leaked audit working papers in full, even though State Auditor Steve Burrage publicly announced that the auditor’s impartiality had been compromised and ordered her audit (now thoroughly discredited by the second, official audit) to be redone

Mr. William Swaim, executive editor of the Broken Arrow Ledger, found only one good thing in the audit, and that was that “the violation” was not intentional.


That’s all that was good?  Isn’t Mr. Swaim happy to find that Air Assurance was not ripping the District off for all those years?  Isn’t he glad they didn’t do unnecessary work and charge the District for it?  Isn’t he pleased to find that their decisions to replace heat exchangers instead of entire units weren’t against industry standard, and probably saved the District money?  Doesn’t he think it’s a good thing that the work with the wrong address on the invoice was actually requested, needed, and completed on District property?  Could Mr. Swaim actually be disappointed with these findings?  He bemoans the possibility that the failure to get bids on certain items might have cost the District some unknown amount, yet doesn’t seem at all relieved that the District did not lose thousands upon thousands to crooks over all the years AA served the District.

Doesn’t Mr. Swaim think it’s good that the board members did not have a conflict of interest?  Would he be happier if the audit showed that they had personal interests that might create a conflict in their loyalties while serving the District?  Why doesn’t Mr. Swaim list as a “good thing” the finding that the policy committee didn’t violate the open meetings laws?

No attempted bribes, no intentional bypassing of bidding laws, no arbitrary blocking of vendors from bidding, no parts and services paid for by the District but not received, no arson, no missing HVAC records from either the District or the vendor (regardless of what people would like to imagine being shredded for three days), no invoices received for work not authorized, approved, and budgeted for, no violations of policy in tracking work orders, no HVAC workers sneaking in and doing unrequested work while no one was looking, no fraudulent payment for a fake insurance policy! These findings aren’t “good”?

Could Mr. Swaim really be disappointed that there weren’t any bad things found by the audit, other than the one we already knew and the surprise one that he doesn’t mention?  Sure sounds like it from the glum tone of his comments.  Buck up, Mr. Swaim, there are still two items remaining!  You may get your corruption yet!

Was Mr. Swaim actually happier with the Combs audit, which, according to the Jones audit, “contained allegations against members of the Broken Arrow community and school district which, if true, constituted serious violations of state and federal law”?  Does he wish these serious violations were true?  He published it on the Ledger when he knew it wasn’t completed or signed off by the state auditor, and that there were serious questions about its accuracy.

And with his heartfelt concern for the school’s budget, how could Mr. Swaim not notice the $250,000+ the audit reported in unauthorized bonuses Jim Sisney gave to a handful of employees?  He lamented Dr. Gerber’s $14,000 bonus – a bonus that was part of his compensation package and approved by the board – in several articles, yet in his only article on the real audit, doesn’t even mention the secret bonuses totalling seventeen times that amount?

Would Mr. Swaim consider it a “good thing” or a “bad thing” if the people who made these allegations knew they weren’t true when they made them?  I consider it a “bad thing”, and when these actions are exposed, I consider it “justice”, not “victory”.

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