BHUSD Needs Better Risk Controls

Just over a year ago, BHUSD facilities director Karen Christiansen was found guilty of  felony conflict of interest for triple-dipping the Measure E facilities bond ($334 million). Not only was she on our district payroll, but paid her ‘Strategic Concepts’ firm millions on the side and took more money from an outside firm while steering district business to it. ‘Strategic concepts’ indeed! While she serves a 4-year prison term, word comes from the Measure E auditor that the district is failing to impose sufficient risk controls. Uncapped contracts are let without competitive bidding and fail to limit per-hour subcontractor  rates. Each of which exposes the district (and taxpayers) to losses. This comes after the City Council just bailed out our district with an extra $4 million – a step controversial enough that the city deferred putting another school bond initiative from the March ballot. This comes as the district has notified five teachers of pending layoffs.