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BREAKING: Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team Preparing to Audit El Rancho Unified School District

BY BRIAN HEWS • Monday August 12, 2019 • 12:40 p.m.

Hews Media Group-Los Cerritos Community News has exclusively learned that the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) is preparing their team to audit the El Rancho Unified School District.

Former Superintendent Karling Aguilera-Fort and Board President Jose Lara have maintained “they have not been contacted by FCMAT for an audit,” yet FCMAT CEO Michael Fine indicated today the audit will commence in the next few weeks.

Fine told HMG-LCCN, “An audit team has been formed and field work is scheduled in the coming few weeks.”

The audit comes in the wake of an exclusive exposé by HMG-LCCN that uncovered a wide-ranging scheme involving over $212 million in school bond funds perpetrated by El Rancho Unified School District (ERUSD) Board Members engaging in pay-to-play politics, financial cover-up, blatant conflicts of interests, and willful violations of California’s Education Code.

The long-running plot has involved ERUSD President Jose Lara and Vice-President Gabriel Orosco since 2015, with newly elected Board member Leanne Ibarra joining the two controversial board members immediately after she was elected in November 2018.

PAY TO PLAY? Fired El Rancho Unified Bond Construction Management Firm Rehired After Donating Thousands to Board Member’s Election Campaign

The recipient of Lara and Company’s actions was Jaime Ortiz, a good friend of Lara and Orosco’s, and owner of High Performance Learning Environments, Inc., which was incorporated only five years ago as a two-person company.

ERUSD Corruption Part II: Widespread Conflicts of Interest, Cover-Up Inside El Rancho Education Foundation

After the first two parts of the exposé published, the Los Angeles County Office of Education called for a FCMAT audit of the beleaguered district, an audit Aguilera-Fort denied, calling out HMG-LCCN for “mis-information.”

The downfall of Aguilera-Fort might have begun after another part of the exposé caught ERUSD president Jose Lara and  Aguilera-Fort accusing the investigators of corruption, while falsely claiming and posting on social media that  they were responsible for initiating the FCMAT audit.

El Rancho USD Board President Jose Lara and Superintendent Aguilera-Fort in Caught in Web of Outright Lies and Cover-Up

Just days after the audit was announced, Jaime Ortiz left his contract with ERUSD, with Aguilera-Fort, amidst all the exposed corruption, praising Ortiz for the work he had done.

Jaime Ortiz and HPLE Resigns From El Rancho Unified Bond Program Management Contract

Finally Aguilera-Fort “resigned” to take a job at the Oxnard Unified School District.

El Rancho Unified Superintendent Karling Aguilera-Fort Will Resign