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Yukon Public Schools ordered to pay $18K to couple

Yukon Public Schools will have to pay $18,203 in lawyers' fees after officials refused to provide a local couple with copies of an investigative report that focused on the district's FFA program.
by Andrew Knittle Published: October 26, 2012
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EL RENO — Yukon Public Schools will have to pay nearly $20,000 in lawyers' fees after officials refused to provide a local couple with copies of an investigative report that focused on the district's National FFA Organization program.

Randy and Debbie Wright, who claim they were "skimmed" by former Yukon agriculture teachers for at least $4,000, have been battling with the district for months over open records issues.

The Wrights sued the school district in January after officials refused to turn over an audit of the Yukon vocational agriculture program.

The investigative report — which was completed by Oklahoma City attorney Mark Patzkowski — detailed several issues facing the district's FFA program. The document doesn't include names, but paints a picture of what was going on in one of the state's largest FFA chapters before April 2011.

Among other things, the report shows that district Superintendent Bill Denton ordered the investigation into the district's agriculture program after receiving complaints from parents and other stakeholders.

The complaints ranged from “skimming” by agriculture instructors, who allegedly charged parents far more for livestock than they paid to breeders, to the existence of bank accounts which “commingled private and Program resources and expenditures.”

The report shows that complaints against the agriculture program include allegations of favoritism among students by district staff and an affiliation with a booster club that reportedly has little financial oversight.

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by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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