June 11, 2010|By Erika Hobbs, Orlando Sentinel
Jan Skjersaa was suspicious.
During his ysis of Orange County schools’ architecture division, he kept active beyond discrepancies involving one contractor, Curtis Hodges, and his company’s assignment on the roof of the Evans High Academy Ninth Grade Center.
And the added Skjersaa dug, the added abashed he became.
Did Hodges’ aggregation absolutely do the assignment the commune was answerable for? Why didn’t Hodges’ annal on the beam activity bout the district’s? Why were assertive annal backdated?
Ultimately, it was Skjersaa’s accomplishments involving the Evans activity that helped put his job in jeopardy.
But as Academy Board advocate Frank Kruppenbacher decides whether to blaze Skjersaa, the accountant said he is still aggravating to amount out what he did amiss — added than conduct a absolute investigation.
Skjersaa was the key accountant attractive into an appointment that oversees projects such as acclimation roof leaks, installing baptize fountains and added work. Most affairs are account $50,000 to $1 million.
Admitting he and his boss, Mike Smith, say their ytical allegation were aimed primarily at the commune office’s accidental administration controls, they could not avoid Evans’ problems. The added Skjersaa found, the added questions he had.
Finally, Skjersaa maintained — in the ysis and in afterwards e-mails and memos to his admiral — that assignment by Hodges Brothers Beam Inc. of Orlando was not done appropriately — or at all.
According to Skjersaa’s investigation, Hodges Brothers Beam had adversity proving it had activated a leakproof blanket aftermost year to four roofs at the academy in Pine Hills, alike admitting the commune had paid the aggregation added than $74,000 to do it.
Owner Hodges has again denied atrocity and has accused the commune of singling him out.
In a diffuse centralized e-mail acquired by the Orlando Sentinel, however, Skjersaa laid out capacity of the abounding accomplish he took to ysis out the Evans activity — and what he discovered.
In a March 16 e-mail to school-district advocate John Palmerini, Skerjsaa additionally aggregate his all-overs over the abridgement of activity on the allotment of school-district leaders.
Skjersaa, a five-year commune employee, said he was balked that his ysis had not been advised by a citizens’ blank board in November as originally scheduled. The ysis already had undergone abundant afterlight and was not appear to the Academy Board until March 15, the day afore his announcement to Palmerini.
He additionally fabricated it bright why he was apprehensive over the cardboard aisle he had baldheaded on the Evans beam project, and explained why he anticipation Hodges had not done the assignment that had been promised. He again appropriate alike added problems existed because of the contractor’s response.
“As an auditor,” he told Palmerini, “they pay me to be skeptical. ‘Don’t trust, verify.’ I absolute aggregate I could and everywhere I looked there was a botheration …
“… I am tasked with the albatross of actuality the ‘eyes and ears’ of the Academy Board who accept albatross to the Students and Taxpayers. I believe: a) I accept performed my job in a reasonable manner, b) I accept taken action area needed, c) I am aggravating to accomplish my job to the best of my ability.”
Among some of his added austere findings:
The commune had paid Hodges to put the leakproof blanket on the roofs of three Evans barrio and the media center. But Hodges’ balance listed assignment for alone three of the buildings. And the academy district’s admittance covered alone the media center.
No inspections appropriate by the architect of the leakproof blanket were done, and no architect warranties were on book — which put the commune at risk.
The acquirement adjustment for all of the jobs, including the roof coating, was created connected afterwards Hodges’ aggregation had completed the work.
The architect had no almanac of affairs Hodges its artefact for this job.
And academy agents were still advertisement leaks on all the roofs.
So Skjersaa dug deeper.
Up on the roof
“I was thinking, what is on that roof and which roofs accept absolutely been done (none of the paperwork matches); so, I abiding to get on the roof and booty samples…,” he wrote Palmerini.
Skjersaa abiding to accept a ladder beatific to Evans, and he inspected the roofs himself. He appear that he could see patches on three roofs but no appropriate blanket on them. The media-center roof appeared as if article had been corrective on it.
Skjersaa bare a allotment off the roof, put it in a artificial bag and apparent it with the date: July 30, 2009. Again he went aback to work.
As the ysis connected through the fall, managers in the district’s architecture administration showed him addition balance in October that they said backed Hodges’ affirmation that his paperwork was in order.
But Skjersaa said it was for the amiss artefact — and was anachronous three months afterwards Evans’ assignment had been completed.
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