“In February of 2011, Debbie Wright and Randy Wright began to suspect that the Wrights had been ‘skimmed' due to the physical qualities and characteristics of the ... show steer,” the lawsuit states.
Within weeks, Patzkowski was hired to investigate the district's FFA program.
The investigator's report, which took more than a year to be made public, showed that Denton ordered the investigation into the district's agriculture program after receiving complaints from parents and other stakeholders. The investigation was started in spring 2011.
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 also shows that complaints against the agriculture program included allegations of favoritism among students by district staff and an affiliation with a booster club that reportedly has little financial oversight.
In one instance, the report states that one student was charged only $1,100 for two steers, which cost the instructor $1,800.
Patzkowski interviewed 22 individuals during his investigation, as well as examining law enforcement reports and about 600 pages of financial records “from concerned stakeholders and Program instructors.”
Denton said the school district initially refused to release the report by Patzkowski on the advice of its attorneys.