LETTER: Jackets were a bribe, not gifts

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By The Staff

This letter is in regards to the Optic’s May 15 article, “Spending in Mora Questioned.” It is an absolute embarrassment and disgrace that Mora school employees tastelessly attempted to bribe legislators and board members. While some call the purchases gifts of appreciation, others call it a bribe when it’s purchased with public funds.  The crux of the embarrassment is that our state representatives accepted wrongfully purchased leather jackets, beef jerky and empanadas. It’s cheap.  

I understand that the legislators work hard during the session; however, as public servants, the school should not have to purchase them gifts to accomplish its objectives. I applaud the Optic for investigating this story, and I applaud all of the individuals who refused to accept the gifts. Even if the funds spent were donated to the district, I believe the donors expected the funds to be used for students and education, not literally fattening the cat. Moreover, if banks wanted to acknowledge the good deeds of elected officials, they can do it directly; they don’t need the Mora Schools to act as an intermediary.

 I believe the state auditor will find far more indiscretions when he investigates. This dishonest use of public money and “donated” money has gone on way too long. It is time that our schools focus on education and getting our children into college where they can be successful. That is real advancement that the director of institutional support, and advancement should be focusing on. In addition, does the school really need that position?

The money spent for the leather jackets could have purchased college books for an entire year for five Mora seniors, as a scholarship.  The money spent on beef jerky could have purchased a new line of books for the elementary school or sent children to meet the state legislators at the roundhouse.  

People are fed up with the misuse of money and there is no justification. I hope the state auditor and other investigators take all necessary steps to ensure that our school is returned to the children. I hope that the superintendent and school board can stay strong to stop this misuse of funds.

Nathaniel Roybal, M.D./Ph.D.

Los Angeles, Calif.