Saturday, January 19, 2008

Give them a map and let them find their way.

From: Mark Zandberg
Sent: 01/17/08 6:46 AM
To: Chris Kapek
Subject: Edmonds
Importance: High

Welcome to Edmonds. While you are reviewing the files in the administration building, I would like to encourage you to read about the "Piano Scam" on It describes district administration's attempts to avoid competitive bidding processes and funnel business to a personal friend of management. Arnie Tucker received preferential treatment and access to $76,000 in business and then a gift of $40,000. Mr. Tucker's lawyer sums up the entire scheme in a letter found at

Good luck in your work. There are many people awaiting the outcome of your team's evaluation.

Mark Zandberg

Thank you again for passing on your concerns regarding the District. We will incorporate these concerns into our risk analysis during our planning process.

Thank you,
Christopher J. Kapek, CPA
Audit Manager - Team Everett
Washington State Auditor's Office


Anonymous said...

Perhaps the auditors are also interested in the overpayment of the new (contaminated) ESC site and the total disregard for seperation of duties in the accounts receivable/bookkeeper position in the business office.

I'm sure your blog readers can provide other examples of items that should be reviewed.

Anonymous said...

How about the outright gift of public funds to Powerful Partners? Free space and use of district resources simply because a school board member (Patrick Shields) and district administrators (Ellen Kahan, for one) are/were on the board of directors?

Anonymous said...

I am just happy to hear the auditors are being advised of problems in the District; this is a "start" to the concerns of many citizens and former employees, and perhaps an "end" to "shady deals" and dishonesty in Administration at Edmonds School District, once a highly respected program/district.

Anonymous said...

I hope the audit process isn't just a meaningless exercise in artificially propping up public administration with the illusion of a comprehensive evaluation.

Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

What about the guy in the middle of this Mike Ross, the old surplus guy. How he got laid off because of buget cuts/Piano Scam. WOW, I bet a lawyer would have a field day with MS Mller/ Edmonds School Dist #15. Its all starting to get clear "NOW". Mike Ross you might want to get a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

We have come to a very sad day in education. It would seem that the Supt Staff has used this institution of learning as a means of getting power for themselves. The morale of the Edmonds School District is at an all time low. Some want to blame Nick, but remember Marla has been running the district for a long, long time, and you know what? We have allowed this to happen. Marla loves power and she thrives on it. She loves intimidating people and there has been no one in the Edmonds School District to stop her. People say that Nick is at fault. I would ask that you look at who and where does Nick get his information. Marla is the holder and the supplier of all the information in the district. No one, and I mean no one gets information, unless it comes through her. So ask yourself this question: Is Nick getting the truth about the affairs of the Edmonds School District? I would say no. Marla is only going to share what she wants shared.

Now let's face another thing. The School Board is the worst I have ever seen, and Marla loves that, because it allows her to retain power. I would doubt very seriously that Marla likes Nick, but he is in charge as far as the position, but we all know that Marla is in charge. So be very careful when you ask that Nick resign, because your good old school board will appoint Marla to take over the position, until someone is found. This is exactly what Marla wants. People, I beg you to really think about this situation and push towards getting Marla to resign. It might take a petition, but something needs to be done. This is a cancer that is spreading very rapidly with a death rate that is spiraling out of control.

I will say this: There are a lot of us in the district that have been mistreated by Marla, and like Mark I do not want a lawsuit for money, but a lawsuit for justice. Marla needs to be stopped from detroying people because she is totally controlled by the need and greed for power.

So once again I beg of you, please let's get legal help to remove Marla. I am sure that there are a lot of us with documents to support how Marla has been unfair. Can we get them all together and go to the Governor for help in removing Marla. I think if the taxpayers and the governor saw some of the documents that some of us hold from Marla, they would be surprised, and I think that Nick would be even more surprised.

We can make a difference if we join hands and work together to regain the Edmonds School District #15 as an institution of learning that stand proud with it's head held high in respect.

Anonymous said...

I have been amazed and puzzled that Manny and Margo allowed the past accounts receiveable person to have access and keys (and take them home)to everything attached to the job. They now will not allow the two new people to have access to the entire operation. The past person can still go into the vault whenever and do whatever she likes. There are no restrictions on her. She can even go in an decide to count coin, because she has no work to do (maybe that new job should not be an eight hour position?). The two people in the vault now are treated very differently and old job duties that were removed for audit reasons have been returned because the person doing them no longer wants to do them. She did not like doing the work. So Manny and Margo said ok to returning the work. Was this right to be done? If the past accounts receivable person had not changed jobs, would the entry into the vault have changed? Is this discrimation on the part of Manny and Margo? Why are they allowed to treat some people differently than others? There is a lot of discrimination allowed in Business Services. Manny and Margo will say that the auditor wanted this change, and I have no problem with that, but why not at the beginning of the new school year (2007-2008), or better yet when the auditor made the finding? Will things ever change upstairs?

Anonymous said...

I've been in the district a long long time and the Business Service Dept. has always had problems. Leadership, moral, employees being treated differently by supervisors. I have never seen it change. Every time a new supervisors has been hired I hoped we would see a different approach to the leadership but NO it never changed. I was told when I started in the district to watch out for the business service supervisor, she was a B#@$%$ and don't step on her toes. I was scared of her and felt the rath many times. Sorry but BS Dept. will never change until someone comes in there and cleans house once and for all.

Anonymous said...

In his book "The No Asshole Rule" Robert Sutton (Stanford Business School) posits that bullies hire other bullies; they can't help themselves. (He actually has evidence as opposed to mere anecdotes.) His rule (adopted by his department) is that you just can't hire ANY of them. They will replicate themselves either by hiring more or turning others into bullies as an act of survival. If a candidate for a position is better qualified but a bully, you hire the person next in line.

How do you get rid of them once they are in the door? Read the book! Available at (Not a commercial plug, just want more people to become aware of the literature out there.) There is also a new book coming out by Darla Twale titled "Faculty Incivility-The Rise of the Academic Bully Culture and What To Do About It." I have a copy on order.

Perhaps this should be required reading for the entire District staff just as "Who Moved My Cheese" was forced on us when Nick came to town.

Anonymous said...

The Manny issue is such a strange one that a book could be written. He could not properly communicate or understand what was transpiring during the piano scam and this perfectly exemplifies everything to do with him in regard to any business transaction, or any personnel issue. He cannot think for himself or make any decision that demonstrates intuition or foresight, only by direction (someone else's decision). He is one-dimensional and possesses no depth of character. He isn't just unqualified to operate in his high paid (useless) position, either professionally or by experience but is completely incapable of any expectations of functionality. He has existed during periods of financial problems within the ESD. He is and will continue to be both a detriment and liability to the District. When Marla goes, so goes this detritus.