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IDEA Public Schools’ CEO and COO ousted following financial audit

The IDEA Public Schools board announced Tuesday that it made the decision to part ways with Chief Executive Officer JoAnn Gama and Chief Operation Officer Irma Munoz.

IDEA's executive committee chairman Al Lopez wrote an open letter on the board's decision. In the letter, Lopez said over the course of last spring and summer, IDEA had received emails from anonymous senders that would include allegations of "inappropriate expenditures and other misuse of IDEA resources."

Lopez said after reviewing the emails, the board directed IDEA's outside counsel to obtain special counsel so that they could conduct an "in-depth legal and forensic review" of financial transactions and activities of senior executives over the past several years.

Lopez said the findings uncovered "substantial evidence" that in the years prior to 2020, a small number of IDEA senior leaders directed the use of IDEA financial and staff resources for their personal benefit.

"In light of the evidence compiled, the Board also directed IDEA's legal counsel, special counsel
and auditors to refer this matter to the appropriate authorities for review of the evidence
uncovered," Lopez said.

IDEA said it is cooperating with the Texas Education Agency regarding the possible appointment of a monitor or conservator.

Article Topic Follows: Education

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