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State auditor releases documents tied to Epic Charter Schools audit investigation

Posted at 3:17 PM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 20:40:14-05

OKLAHOMA CITY — State Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd released new documents Wednesday related to the audit investigation into Epic Charter Schools.

READ MORE: State auditor conducts audit investigation into Epic Charter Schools

Byrd said the documents support the questioned administrative costs and improper transfers of funds to California.

Governor Kevin Stitt requested the audit in July 2019. After an investigation, Byrd said the State Department of Education demanded Epic refund the State $11.2 million.

"We took extra measures to organize these work papers so everyone can easily understand how we arrived at our figures," Byrd said. "The work papers contain thousands of records but will clearly explain and validate the calculations we used to determine our final figures. We are now delivering these work papers to the State Department of Education, as they requested. Epic Charter Schools will also receive a copy.”

Bryd said Epic Charter Schools has 60 days to repay the State Department of Education.

Shelly Hickman, assistant superintendent for Epic Charter Schools, released the following statement regarding the state auditor's release of her office's work papers:

"We can't directly speak to any recalculation because the work papers have yet to actually be provided to us. The SAI must have placed a higher priority on media attention because we were just informed in email we must go to the SAI's offices to retrieve a CD of the work papers you are referencing and no notice of any 'recalculation' was given in that email. A 'recalculation' of a final audit report proves the SAI's processes are prone to huge errors. Moreover, we already know from what we previously obtained through an open records request that SAI’s processes caused the final audit report to have material errors that call into question the reliability of the document and its calculations. We remain confident of proving that once we have all the work papers in hand."

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