ST. LOUIS (CN) - The FBI did not need a warrant to secretly install a GPS tracking device on a St. Louis City Treasurer's Office employee accused of not showing up for work, a federal judge ruled.
Fred Robinson, 69, is accused of stealing more than $250,000 of public money from the Paideia Academy charter school to start a day-care business, and of taking as much as $175,000 from his job in Treasurer Larry Williams' office, where he was allegedly a no-show.
Robinson was indicted in September on one count of wire fraud and seven counts of federal program theft.
SHUTTERED MO. CHARTER SCHOOL KEEPS LEFTOVER CASH; STATE SAYS IT HAS NO AUTHORITY TO RECOUP; March 11, 2011; Associated Press at KSPR
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Questions are being raised after St. Louis' Paideia (peye-DAY'-uh) Academy closed and kept nearly a half-million dollars in leftover money.
Missouri education officials say state regulators didn't have the authority to take back unspent money. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that a federal investigation is under way, and that the state auditor's office has also asked questions.
The Paideia Academy struggled academically for years before it was closed last summer. State finance records show more than $454,000 was left in the school's bank account.
The president of the school's board of directors, Fred Robinson, says an annual audit submitted to the state will answer questions about what happened to the money. But the Missouri education department still hasn't received the audit, which was due Dec. 31.
JEFFERSON CITY • A St. Louis charter school under fire for bad performance fought for its life Friday, its future in the hands of a Cole County judge.
The State Board of Education voted last month to reject the application of Paideia Academy, a charter elementary school that had been operating in one form or another since 2001. Citing low test scores and poor management, the state board took action that could lead to the school closing its campuses in north and south St. Louis.
Paideia sued, however, and its attorney argued Friday before Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem that the state had no right to consider test scores as a reason for dismissing its application.
"There is insufficient evidence to deny the application and put 300 students on the street," attorney Thomas Carter said.
The battle exposes what some regard as a failing of charter school law. The schools were touted as alternatives to traditional public schools that could be closed swiftly if they fail to perform. But in Missouri and elsewhere, efforts to close failing charters have often been stymied by litigation and red tape…
Paideia is one of two St. Louis charter schools facing closure this year. Ethel Hedgeman Lyle Academy, which lost its sponsor in April, has been troubled for years with low academic performance, staff turnover and infighting among leaders and students. Owing nearly 100 creditors more than $5 million, Lyle's debt abruptly forced students to finish the year under the domain of St. Louis Public Schools. Now, Lyle's more than 700 students must enroll in different schools this fall...