Phil Berger Conflict of Interest Recusal Call; NC Bill SB 793 on Charter School Transparency

Phil Berger should have recused himself from voting.

"House lawmakers approved legislation Friday that allows private, for-profit management companies that run charter schools to keep their employees’ salaries secret, even though they are paid with public funds.

...Charter schools are run by nonprofit boards that get state approval to receive public money. Some of those boards contract with a management company...

...Rep. Tricia Cotham, D-Mecklenburg, said the exemption for employees hired by management companies opens the door to inappropriate hiring and overpayment of administrators...

Paul Norcross, Phil Berger Jr's Chief Political Adviser
 and co-founder of the N.C. Alliance for Public Charter Schools,
 who personally profits from his charter school,
gave himself a no-bid management contract,
was denied a charter school due to "conflict of interest",
and skipped the meeting when Berger Jr's school was approved by the Council.

...The change comes at a time when one prominent Wilmington-based charter school operator, Baker A. Mitchell Jr., has been fighting media requests for months that have asked him to fully disclose the salaries of all employees associated with his charter schools – teachers as well as those who work for his for-profit education management organization (EMO), Roger Bacon Academy.

Mitchell, who also sits on the N.C. Charter School Advisory Board that is tasked with approving and monitoring charter schools, operates four charter schools in southeastern North Carolina through his for-profit company.

Roger Bacon Academy has raked in millions of dollars in profits that consist of public funds since 1999 – and Mitchell himself has profited to the tune of at least $16 million in management fees over the past several years.

who is also president of the N.C. Alliance for Public Charter schools, 

was appointed to the Public Charter School Advisory Council

by Phil Berger Sr., who looks like voted to personally benefit 
his son, Baker Mitchell and Paul Norcross,
who was appointed to the Public Charter School Advisory Council
by Phil Berger Sr.

...this bill protects Mitchell and others like him who are free to hire family and friends through a private company that runs charters, and then pay them anything they like with public funds.

The legislation may very well personally benefit Phil Berger's son
without any disclosure to taxpayers
based on the advocacy of Sr., for the benefit of Jr.
and both Norcross and Mitchell.

...Governor Pat McCrory has previously said he’d veto any bill that prevented public disclosure of charter school salaries.

...The Senate must act on the bill before it goes to the Governor."

Alan Hawkes, a for profit charter school supporter,
in what appears to be a violation of North Carolina Public Charter School Advisory Council Rules
was appointed to the Council by Phil Berger Sr.

I believe the Public Charter School Advisory Council gave Phil Berger Jr. preferential treatment concerning his taxpayer funded application.

...no legislator shall participate in a legislative action 
if the legislator knows the legislator or a person with which the legislator is associated 
may incur a reasonably foreseeable financial benefit from the action, 
and if after considering whether the legislator's judgment 
would be substantially influenced by the financial benefit 
and considering the need for the legislator's particular contribution,
including special knowledge of the subject matter 
to the effective functioning of the legislature, 
the legislator concludes that an actual financial benefit does exist 
which would impair the legislator's independence of judgment.

§ 138A-37.  Legislator participation in legislative actions.

I believe the North Carolina School Board should have investigated what looks like Regulatory Capture by the taxpayer funded Phil Bergers before the extension for the school be approved without discussion..
A public servant shall ...remove himself or herself to the extent necessary, 
to protect the public interest 
from any proceeding in which the public servant's impartiality 
might reasonably be questioned 
due to the public servant's familial, personal, or financial relationship
with a participant in the proceeding. 

A participant includes (i) an owner, shareholder, partner, member or manager 
of a limited liability company, employee, agent, officer, or director 
of a business, organization, or group involved in the proceeding, 
or (ii) an organization or group that has petitioned for rule making 
or has some specific, unique, and substantial interest in the proceeding. 

...A personal relationship includes one in a leadership or policy-making position 
in a business, organization, or group."

§ 138A-36.  Public servant participation in official actions.



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