State says Lee County school district misused $3.9 million

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
School District of Lee County seal. Photo via WINK News.
School District of Lee County seal. Credit: WINK News.

The Florida Department of Education says Lee County Schools misused $3.9 million dollars of taxpayer money. Now, a frequent critic of the Superintendent Greg Adkins is demanding action.

However, Dr. Ami Desamour, chief financial officer of the school district, doesn’t think the state is accusing the school district of wasteful spending.

But the district used money meant for one type of project on mold remediation, and that got school board member Melisa Giovannelli fired up. She sent an email to the board that said she would file a motion to hire an outside law firm to investigate the superintendent.

Giovanelli warns, if the board fails to vote to conduct an outside investigation into Adkins’ actions that violated Florida Statute, she will send a formal letter to Governor Ron DeSantis’ office requesting intervention.

But Desamour told us the district has the money to cover any problems.

“If the DOE ruling remains unchanged, what will happen is we will move in our current funds the $3.9 million or whatever the final amount is from the operating funds into the capital funds to reverse the expenditures that they said should come rightfully from the operational fund,” Desamour said.

The school district has until the end of May to submit information in hopes the state will approve the original spending.

Only one board member got back to us with a comment on Giovannelli’s email.

Board member Chris Patriccia said the call for an intervention is premature.

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