Auditor: School officials paid themselves through contracts - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Auditor: Closed charter school officials paid themselves through public contracts

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The state auditor's report has released more details on the six officials from Lion of Judah Academy who paid themselves through public contracts. The state auditor's report has released more details on the six officials from Lion of Judah Academy who paid themselves through public contracts.
COLUMBUS, OH (WOIO) -

The price tag for self-dealing by six officials – three of whom have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing – is nearly $500,000, according to an audit of the now closed Lion of Judah Academy in Cuyahoga County. The audit was released on Tuesday by Auditor of State Dave Yost.

"I am exasperated with the latest list of failed charter school officials that were self-dealing and racking up losses for the taxpayers and children of Ohio," Yost said. "I'm looking forward to their day in court when justice will be done."

The audit identified three instances where the academy granted public contracts to organizations owned or operated by its school officials. In 2011, the academy made payments to Latter Enterprise, Inc. totaling $469,621, the Church of the Lion of Judah totaling $5,000, and Promyse, Inc. totaling $2,500.

Findings for recovery in the full amounts have been issued jointly and severally against:

- Romey Coles, executive director of the academy, incorporator of Latter Enterprise, Inc. and owner of the Church of the Lion of Judah

- Rosina Coles, board president of the academy and incorporator of Latter Enterprise, Inc.

- Sheryse Henderson, business manager for the academy, incorporator of Latter Enterprise, Inc. and owner of Promyse, Inc.

- Jon Henderson, board member of the academy, trustee for the Church of the Lion of Judah and owner of Promyse, Inc.

- Trilana Bowling, board member of the academy and trustee for the Church of the Lion of Judah

An additional finding for recovery has been issued against Romey Coles in the amount of $14,712 for unallowable health insurance payments made for him by the academy.

Finally, findings for recovery totaling $750 have been issued against Treasurer Edward Dudley for unsupported payments. 

Romey Coles, Rosina Coles and Sheryse Henderson pleaded guilty to multiple charges and are awaiting sentencing.

View a full copy of the report.

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