Silly question, but what about the guy in charge of it all?

I was reading the latest article on the GEAR UP grant kerfuffle, and something struck me as odd, and a question that no one seems to be asking as they try to blame state government and gin up controversy.  No one seems to be talking much to Dan Guericke, the Superintendent of the District/COOP.  Wasn’t he the guy in charge?

If people were double dipping and acting as their own subcontractors under the grant, would he have not been the person in charge of making sure that didn’t happen?

If the state went to the Mid Central Educational Cooperative and said “good lord, your records on this grant are such a mess, we have to step in and fix it,” why are we not hearing about what action he and the board of the organization took to remedy the problem once it was identified early on, and what the remedies they tried?   Why did they let it get so bad?

What we ARE hearing about, is how the coop immediately canceled the phone for the employee who committed suicide, and allegedly murdered his family, and how if they find something in their safe deposit box, they’ll pass it on to the AG.

Silly question, but that seems to be the place where many of these questions should start.

15 Replies to “Silly question, but what about the guy in charge of it all?”

  1. Anonymous

    This guy is not a state employee with duties to the people. The Department of Education was at least grossly negligent and should be held accountable. Frankly, they pawned their job onto an inept contractor and then knowingly allowed the inept contractor to unjustly enrich the Department’s cronies. It is that simple.

    1. Anonymous

      It sounds like you have an agenda. I don’t think it had anything to do with “cronies,” as much as a contractor who couldn’t handle the job.

      In the real world, companies and government entities hire contractors after a painstaking hiring process. They don’t want to go through it again if they don’t have to.

      In this case, I’m sure things started off ok. Then shortcomings were noticed.

      At some point I’d guess they pointed them out, and said “you need to perform better,” and the contractor said “ok.” But they didnt, so things got more strongly worded.

      In this case, the reviews were a while apart, and by that time, the state needed to step in to make sure they were able to perform.

      But normally I have to imagine they would do that with the contractor and not the contractor’s employee.

      1. Daniel Buresh

        It’s not cronyism, it’s straight up corruption. Multiple people are using their positions to obtain lucrative side contracts. Call it what you want, I want it stopped and made unlawful.

  2. Daniel Buresh

    So when are our leaders going to ask the tough questions? When are they going to call for independent audits of every dollar the Dept of Ed handled? When are they going to implement conflict of interest policies with some teeth? When are they going to implement audit functionalities so if this happens again, it is caught immediately? When are we going to have open records laws so if the state won’t keep checks on gov’t function, the people can?

    I can only care so much about blaming people of what has already been done, but I am going to start blaming leaders if they aren’t willing to put protections in place so it doesn’t happen again. R or D, we should be demanding accountability and expecting changes so it can’t and won’t happen again.

  3. anon

    how did the kelo interview go with the gov and melody s? can’t invest 30 minutes to watch so want a report. I know the gov stands by her but not a lot of substance in my opinion there.

  4. Michael Wyland

    The reason so many of the questions go to the SD Department of Education is that the State of South Dakota was the applicant for the federal GEAR UP grant in 2011. In that application, the state indicated that the grant would be administered by the state Department of Education’s Office of Indian Education. One-quarter FTE would be contributed by the state to oversee the grant and 13 FTE would be hired by the state using grant funds. Approximately 50% of the total grant funds ($12 million over 7 years) would be contracted to other entities for service delivery. MidCentral was identified as a major “partner” and would handle “day to day” administration of funds under state control and review.

    To date, there has been no document produced that authorized the SD Department of Education to contract hiring and management of the grant’s 13 program staff to MidCentral. This event is alluded to in the state’s annual reports to the feds, but not addressed explicitly. Salaries and fringe benefits alone for the 13 FTE were identified in the grant application as a $1 million-plus annual expense separate from the “Consultants and Contracts” line item in the budget.

    According to the grant application and annual reports, *at all times* the SD Department of Education has dedicated at least one day a week of one managerial employee to overseeing GEAR UP (the one-quarter FTE in the application became a one-fifth FTE in the annual reports).

    1. Jason Sebern

      Thank you Michael Wyland for sharing your expertise on this matter. Those of us who are concerned about “good government” appreciate your input. Gracias.

  5. Anonymous

    Anyway you slice this mess, and the EB5 corruption, it is a black mark on Jackley, Daugaard, and Rounds as they built this corrupt political machine.

    Years from now there will be TV drama about Rounds/Daugaard/Jackley Hall and the corruption they spawned/sponsored. Daugaard must have thought the Daly political machine was the thing to import to SD from his Chicago lawyer days.

  6. Anonymous

    Guericke is hired by a group of local school board members, who should show him the door. It’s no secret in the ed community that Guericke and State Board of Ed member Julie Mathieson (sp) are very cozy with DOE and have reaped millions in rewards. I am glad we finally have at least one report that says Mid Central’s work didnt help students. Both Mid Central and TIE are paid literally hundreds of thousands per year to “help” schools that serve Native American students. It has beem that way for decades and those students are no better off. The money would have been better spent on teacher salries.

  7. Rapid City Voter

    When I look at all of this incompetence in government or disinterest in making it work for the people I’m actually most impressed by the current Secretary of State and how she has transformed that office. Krebs is really a bright spot.

  8. wazzzupp

    Here’s a sillier question PP — why won’t Dennis Daugaard show he’s a leader and remove the Secretary of Education. Republicans are sick of their own kind covering up, spinning and apologizing for public officials who have violated the public trust. The only good thing out of all this mess is that Jackley’s gubernatorial dreams are over.

  9. duggersd

    Having been a teacher employed by Mid-Central for several years, the things happening I am reading about deeply sadden me. I knew Scott because he was the guy who got me my check every month and explained the benefits we had. I do not know if Scott’s wife was the assistant CFO at the time I worked for Mid-Central, but when I started reading about that, it raised red flags to me. My heart hoped that there was nothing there, but the more I read the more I fear that people I worked with will have legal problems. Very sad.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.