Orlando Sentinel by Leslie Postal
December 14, 2018
The Florida Virtual School, investigating its former top attorney Frank Kruppenbacher because of complaints he mistreated school employees, also found problems with some contracts and payments he approved.
A school auditor found Kruppenbacher – who resigned as general counsel in August as the school hired an outside law firm to investigate him – had billed the school for a two-night hotel stay unrelated to school business, pressured school employees to hire a particular technology company “without multiple bids to ensure best pricing” and numerous times circumvented school rules, and its procurement department, when entering into contracts.
The audit, a companion to the investigative report on Kruppenbacher released Tuesday,was done by the school auditor and then reviewed by accountants from an outside firm.
It also found that Kruppenbacher — a well-known Central Florida attorney and top fundraiser for Gov. Rick Scott — had once billed a job done for the Osceola County School Board, for which he serves as board attorney, to the virtual school and had inappropriately authorized $6,205 in public relations work for an event at the Governor’s mansion in Tallahassee to be paid through the virtual school’s cyber security vendor.
An official with that security company told the school, “I don’t know what I’m paying, but I was told to pay this by Frank,” according to Leslie Komurke, the virtual school’s auditor.
According to a recording of the school’s board of trustees on Tuesday that was reviewed by the Orlando Sentinel, Komurke said that the audit found a number of payments authorized by Kruppenbacher without details to back up the bills and Komurke could not be sure there weren’t other problematic.