Friday, February 17, 2006

One year later: Are Hawes and Tokar laughing now?

Almost exactly a year to the day after MCPS officials ridiculed and dismissed Seven Locks parents' questions about corruption, the Montgomery County Inspector General released its scathing report against the school system.

We remember the Seven Locks Elementary School PTA meeting in February, 2005, when parents asked James Tokar and Richard Hawes of MCPS about how they deal with allegations of waste, fraud, abuse and corruption.

Instead of answering the questions, Hawes ridiculed the parents. Tokar, in charge of the construction project, repeatedly ignored verbal and written requests for information about waste and corruption.

Hawes and Tokar subsequently blocked their e-mail accounts from receiving correspondence from individual citizens who pressed the issue.

Their stonewalling prompted some citizens in our community to file the official complaint with the Inspector General that led to the recent probe.

And now we find that MCPS officials and school board members are trying to block and discredit the inspector general. Something stinks here.

Let's hope that the IG continues his investigation. He and his staff have done a great job so far.