Newport Councilor Claims Superintendent Violated State Law

Newport City Councilor Michael Farley said a $750,000 shortfall in the 2012-13 school budget should had been reported within five days after it was discovered.

By Olga Enger Email the author June 4, 2013

After a budget meeting with members of the Newport City Council and School Committee Thursday, Councilor Michael Farley said a $745,000 school budget shortfall came to light that should had been previously reported.

“The school committee had a legal obligation to notify the council of all shortfalls within five days of discovery of this and all other budget shortfalls,” said Farley.

At the meeting, Superintendent Jack Ambrogi said because a business manager did not appropriately allocate funds, there was a $600,00 shortfall for tuition and a $145,000 shortfall for bus monitors.

“We already put a freeze on the budget back in March because we knew that there were issues,” said Ambrogi. “We already said that we weren’t going to spend any of that capital improvement money this year because we knew there were issues.”

In response, Farley made seven requests to the School Committee for supporting documentation under the Freedom of Information Act and the Rhode Island Access to Public Records Act.

“It is important to me that we begin to develop trust between our two bodies, but I am not comfortable concealing Mr. Ambrogi’s violation of law,” he said. “Now that we are aware that Mr. Ambrogi is willing to violate Rhode Island law, we must recognize that he does not belong in a position of authority.”

To see Farley’s request, click the PDF to the right of the article.


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