State Auditor’s Request Irks Group Seeking Probe Of Rockwood Schools

Brett Blume

EUREKA, Mo. (KMOX) –  A group calling for an audit of the Rockwood School District has heard back from the state of Missouri — and they’re not happy with the answer they received.

Eileen Tyrrell, who heads up the organization calling itself “Rockwood Stakeholders for Real Solutions”, says she was told Tuesday by state auditor Tom Schweich’s office that their request to launch an investigation the district’s business practices needs to be accompanied by a petition signed by 10% of the voters who cast a ballot in the November, 2008 election.

That’s estimated to be some 4,000 to 5,000 names.

“Why should we have to spend time, resources and effort for an issue that’s already right out there?,” Tyrrell tells KMOX News.

She’s referring to her group’s own investigation as well as a series of in-depth articles that recently appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

They revealed that Rockwood School Board president Steve Smith works for Glenn Construction, which has been awarded millions of dollars in construction management projects by the district, often with little to no competitive bidding.

“We knew (Steve Smith) was an employee of Glenn Construction because it was on his Facebook page,” Tyrrell says.  “What we didn’t know was the relationship between Glenn Construction and Rockwood.”

Tyrrell says the decision to approach Schweich’s office about launching an investigation into Rockwood Schools was made last week when the district’s chief financial officer told her that “this is what we’ve always done” in regards to the bidding process.

“RS for RS feels this is, at the minimum an appearance of impropriety if not a blatant conflict of interest,” Tyrrell concludes.



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