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Jake Weigler, (503) 947-5650

August 21, 2009

Superintendent Castillo and Willamette Education Service District Request State Audit of District's Financial Practices

SALEM -- Today, Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo issued the following statement on her joint request with the Willamette Education Service District (WESD) for the Oregon Secretary of State Audits Division to conduct a review of the financial management of the District:

“In recent months, numerous individuals including current and former employees have made allegations of financial impropriety and misuse of state and federal funds by members of the Willamette Education Service District. These accusations should be carefully examined before arriving at conclusions or taking corrective action.

“The Board and staff of WESD are currently conducting their own internal review of the matter. But to ensure that questions are publicly resolved, I am today, with the full support of the WESD board of Directors, requesting that Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown conduct an audit examining the allegations of financial malfeasance and report back to my Department on any remedial actions deemed appropriate.

“Based on my discussion of the matter with the Secretary of State’s office, I have great confidence in their ability to conduct a full and fair review of the allegations and provide the public with a report and recommendations on the matter.

“The acting superintendent of WESD has also assured me that the state will have the full cooperation of his staff and board in this effort and that they are equally committed to resolving the matter and regaining the confidence of the public and the school districts they serve. Education service districts provide critical services to local school districts and students across Oregon. By working together to address this matter, I believe we can lift the cloud that has fallen over the WESD and the important services they provide for schools across the mid-Willamette Valley.”

Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Jake Weigler, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5650

Oregon Department of Education News Releases contain information that was originally released to the press as an official release.  Refer to each News Release for the details.

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