New questions about how Pat Pope awarded DeKalb school projects.
By Tim Eberly
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
DeKalb County school official Patricia “Pat” Pope hired a family friend from Washington, D.C., to work as a furniture consultant on three school construction projects, and the school district paid for the woman’s plane tickets, hotel stays and car rentals when she traveled here, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned....
Around the same time, Pope also hired an Atlanta interior designer to serve as a furniture consultant on two other projects.
Both hirings apparently violated school district policy. When asked for documents to show that purchasing policies were followed, the district could not produce any.
Records show that Pope’s construction program paid D.C.-based furniture consultant Judy Hasbrouck $108,730 for three contracts between 2007 and 2009 for her work and travel expenses.
Pope also paid $19,263 to Atlanta interior designer Vanessa Shorter, an acquaintance who later went to work for Pope’s architect husband, for furniture consulting work in 2007.
The revelation about those contracts is the latest in a series of AJC articles about Pat Pope and her involvement in the construction projects under criminal investigation.
Hasbrouck and Shorter began working for the district after Pat Pope cut ties with a retired employee on the grounds that she had a full-time employee who was ready to take over the work. The retired employee had been working part time for the system.
Within a month, Pope fired the full-time employee and brought Hasbrouck and Shorter into the picture.
The school district doesn’t have records to compare Hasbrouck’s and Shorter’s workloads to that of the retired employee, but Hasbrouck alone made nearly as much money in half the time, documents show.
Pope’s hiring of Hasbrouck and Shorter was not only unusual, but apparently violated school district policies.*
Two of Hasbrouck’s three contracts were worth more than $25,000 and should have been competitively bid through public advertisements, according to the school district’s policy for purchasing goods and services.
The third Hasbrouck contract — and Shorter’s single contract — were worth more than $10,000 and should have been approved only after the district got two written quotes from possible vendors.
*So - now do you suppose the board will fire her and save the taxpayers her $200,000 salary plus benefits?
Follow this link to read the entire AJC story.