LETTER: Meaningful change still needed after GEAR UP
To the Editor:
In the wake of the GEAR UP tragedy, no one has ever come forward with an honest, accurate number of deserving Native American Kids who actually went to college. This is despite our state government blowing through about $60 million of our state and federal tax dollars.
High-placed bureaucrats claimed preposterous conflicts of interest were “business as usual.” Auditors failed their professional and ethical obligations. Politicians suddenly came down with amnesia. Consultants laughed all the way to the bank with their ill-gotten millions. While thousands of our young people got cheated out of a chance for a better future, no one ever spent a single night in jail. It was convenient to blame it all on the dead guy and move on.
Will our state’s Native American children and our taxpayers suffer again from such scandals? Yes, they will, unless we find ways to prevent such abuses of public trust from happening again. If you have suggestions for meaningful changes, — in rules, laws or oversight procedures — please consider sharing them with us before Nov. 10. If you wish, we will keep your identity confidential. We will not attribute your comments to you in any way. We will present our findings and proposals to legislators and other public officials for their review and action in the 2020 legislative session.