That’s an interesting development.
The Auditor General who has been looking into the theft of funds from the Mid-Central School District just dropped a bomb on public impressions and media reports.
Because he just announced that area schools were the victims of Scott Westerhuis’ financial machinations, and not the State of SD or Federal Government:
The $1.4 million that a Platte man funneled from his employer before his murder-suicide came from his neighbors and nearby communities, the state’s auditor general said Monday.
…….the money that went missing came from the 14 central South Dakota public school districts to share special education teaching services and other contracting services.
He said the funds used for the Gear Up grant were all returned to the state and federal departments of education. But probes of Mid-Central’s finances found that $1.4 million in general funds was unaccounted for.
Does that change your view of the story?
The State of SD, and the Department of Education discovered the accounting problems in the first place, triggering them to yank the grant from the beleaguered co-op. Unbeknownst to all, that action caused a heretofore unknown financial manipulation to crash, and the author of the financial scheme, Scott Westerhuis, murdered himself and his family as a result.
Clearly, others did bad things along the way. There are those accused of taking shortcuts, altering documents and enriching themselves. And as this has been discovered, lawmakers have passed legislation, and are proposing more measures to fix the loopholes. To resolve then in an attempt to prevent them in the future.
Isn’t that how “the system” is supposed to work? Discover problem. Review and investigate. Fix problem.
Too many people, such as the media and other opportunists, overly sensationalize things for gain. And the simple truth gets muted as a resort.
We’ll get to see more of that this morning as State Senator Stace Nelson will be called to testify as to unreported criminal activity that he claims he knows about, and has paraded around to the state’s media… but hasn’t reported to law enforcement and refuses to disclose to his colleagues on the Government Operations an Audit Committee.
In appearance after appearance after appearance in front of the state press corps, like others who think they have something to gain from the spotlight, Senator Nelson has paraded wild claims of corruption that might make for a good 15 second soundbite in the media, but does not stand up to cross-examination.
There was wrongdoing and several loopholes that needed closing in the matter of the theft of funds from the Mid-Central education cooperative. The Attorney General is prosecuting what can be prosecuted, and the legislature is passing laws where there need to be laws.
Instead of wild claims that benefit a person’s political standing or a television station’s ratings, sticking with facts and truth seems to work the best in the long run. It’s the opposite of sensational. It’s boring, it’s tedious, and it takes a long time. Not exactly what we want to see in the 24 hour news cycle, where if it bleeds, it leads.
But we can always hope that even through all the noise and static, the truth might win in the long run.
And isn’t that who we want to win?