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Public Corruption in Chester County, PA

I believe an unlikely mix of alleged drug trafficking related politicos and alleged white nationalist related politicos united to elect the infamous “Bloc of Four” in the abysmal voter turnout election of 2005. During their four year term the drug business was good again and white nationalists used Coatesville as an example on white supremacist websites like “Stormfront”. Strong community organization and support from law enforcement, in particular Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll has begun to turn our community around. The Chester County drug trafficking that I believe centers on Coatesville continues and I believe we still have public officials in place that profit from the drug sales. But the people here are amazing and continue to work against the odds to make Coatesville a good place to live.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

I think every school superintendent in PA knows there is a plethora of techniques for stealing public funds embedded into the Byzantine bureaucratic structure of educational facilities in PA. I beleive Servicemaster may have taken advantage of this.

I once had an intellectual argument with Chester County District Attorney Joe Carroll. It was about a possible white collar crime. Joe said, “But it’s not enough to bring to court.” My argument is that it’s enough for a detective to look further into. A gut feeling that things are being concealed, vs. what is known in documents that can be evidence. 

Sometimes paper and digital records aren’t enough to prove a crime was committed. White collar crime requires people with interview knowledge, people with forensic accounting knowledge, people with knowledge of bureaucratic structure and other possibly scientific knowledge pertinent to the private or public entity is needed. It’s not like possession of so much narcotics equals so much prison sentence. 

I believe every school superintendent in Pennsylvania knows there is a plethora of techniques for stealing public funds embedded into the Byzantine bureaucratic structure of educational facilities in Pennsylvania. 

I think companies like Servicemaster  have taken advantage of this. I believe companies like Servicemaster could use kickbacks to persuade public officials to act against the public interest, while the Byzantine bureaucratic structure of public schools can hide their deeds.

2 Coatesville investigated by BDO 

This case is about Coatesville school district in Chester County. Accounting firm BDO (2014) investigated the Coatesville school district where two directors where suspected of fraud in the athletic department. The scope of their report is specifically limited to the application of forensic accounting procedures. As might be expected from an internal investigation conducted by an accounting firm, investigators filled the investigation report with numbers and charts. Obviously, investigators applied their forensic accounting knowledge in this investigation. While others had already revealed the fraud in the Acar case, this investigation started at an earlier stage where there was only suspicion of fraud. From a contingent perspective, forensic accounting knowledge was thus much more important in the Coatesville investigation than in the Acar investigation. 
By means of numbers, BDO (2014) tried to make a case of surprisingly low athletic department revenues and surprisingly high athletic department expenses. These surprises created suspicions of fraud directed at the superintendent Richard Como and former athletic director James Donato. If investigators had applied legal knowledge in this investigation, they would probably have looked more at organizational structure and authorities of both Como and Donato. If investigators had applied behavioral and interview knowledge, they might have succeeded in reconstructing the past by getting Como and Donato to tell them what really went on in terms of revenue collection and expenditures.

 The core message from all cases is that a contingent knowledge management approach is needed in internal investigations. The situation should determine what kind of knowledge to apply in a specific investigative challenge. Legal knowledge seems to dominate many investigations, where forensic accounting knowledge and management consulting knowledge might have been more appropriate. 
Forensic accounting knowledge, business knowledge and detective knowledge is often more appropriate for the purpose of reconstructing the past. The application of legal knowledge can easily result in a report of investigation focusing on formal procedures and bureaucratic improvements. 
Table 2 presents a comparison of the cases discussed from a knowledge management perspective. The table lists knowledge applied versus knowledge needed. It comes as no surprise that law firms as investigators mainly apply legal knowledge independent of critical issues at hand in the investigation. Similarly, auditing firms apply mainly auditing knowledge independent of critical issues in the investigation.


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