Discover more from Public Enemy Number 1
The Florida/DeSantis/DoE Jefferson corruption scandal: a cheat sheet of important players and timeline of reporting, dating to "Failure Factories"
Here it is, all in one place. This makes it much easier to understand and follow. I will update as new developments occur. Please send me anything I've missed.
Florida’s DoE/Jefferson County scandal is a comprehensive Florida Model education scandal, from top-to-bottom. It reveals and culminates a 25-year reign of vile, soulless cynicism and exploitation of children, teachers, and communities by people like Florida Charter School Alliance lobbyist Ralph Arza and his even more powerful patrons in Jeb Bush’s education empire.
It’s also, by far, the greatest political threat that Ron DeSantis faces because Florida’s governor fully owns the state’s education system, operationally and politically. DeSantis fully owns the Florida Department of Education (DoE); and he appointed Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran.
This article aims to explain the scandal with digestible summaries of key scandal players and a timeline of relevant public reporting and important events.
So many scandals in one — all are bad for DeSantis and Florida
DoE/Jefferson weaves together multiple specific scandals into one giant general scandal of Florida education. Thus, each of the following is true about DoE/Jefferson:
At its most immediate level, it’s a bid-rigging scandal, triggered by two different corrupt bids for the same Jefferson County work. It was DoE insiders on one hand and a politically-connected former business partner of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran on the other. That’s what the blockbuster Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald reporting documents.
It’s a cover up scandal. Until Nikki Fried called him out about it on Jan. 23 — and Democratic Congresspeople called for a federal investigation, DeSantis had refused to investigate one of the corrupt bid processes, the one involving consultancy MGT, which is led by former legislator Republican legislator and Corcoran business partner Trey Traviesa. And DeSantis’ DoE actively hid the rank corruption from the Jefferson County School Board. Whether it continues to be a cover up scandal depends on DeSantis’ Inspector General Melinda Miguel, who is now supposedly looking at “all of the above” in the DoE/Jefferson scandal.
It’s an Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran’s corrupt and incompetent state DOE scandal. If Miguel is not jerking around the public, “all of the above” in this investigation means interviewing, among others: Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and DoE Chancellor Jacob Oliva; Ralph Arza, the powerful convicted criminal witness tamperer and state charter schools spokesman; Trey Traviesa, the highly connected government and education consultant/former lawmaker; and anyone who took part in a shady Nov. 1 meeting about Jefferson County at the Florida Department of Education.
Interview topics should include bid-rigging, official corruption, misuse of state DoE personnel resources, misuse of federal coronavirus money, whether Somerset Charter delivered all resources it was paid to Jefferson County, and the abject failure of Florida’s “Schools of Hope” program in Jefferson County and beyond.
It’s a Florida Charter School Alliance spokesman and convicted criminal witness tamperer Ralph Arza scandal. See here. You sort of need to read it to believe it.
It’s an individual charter school moral courage and performance scandal. Somerset Charter is bailing on tiny Jefferson, ending the famous state charter takeover experiment in “disaster.” That’s despite pocketing an extra $20M as a state “school of hope.”
It’s a Sen. Manny Diaz, R-Hialeah, Somerset connection scandal. See here.
It’s an “external operator” education consultant scandal. See here.
It’s federal coronavirus relief funding scandal. The state plans to make Jefferson County pay a consultant with the county’s federal emergency money. See here.
It’s potentially a Miami-Dade superintendent hiring process scandal. See here. DoE Chancellor Jacob Oliva got three votes for Miami-Dade superintendent on Jan. 24, but did not win. Jefferson played a role in his questioning.
It’s an unelected state bureaucrats versus elected local government scandal. See here.
It’s a Ron DeSantis conservative politics scandal. He and Corcoran and DoE sold out a tiny, Trump-voting rural Florida county so that Miami and Tampa-based grifters could pillage it. The pillagers are closely tied to Jeb Bush’s education empire, who Trump defeated mercilessly in 2016 with Common Core and “low energy.”
But honestly, the scandal goes much deeper than those bullets. The timeline I’ve created after my “key figures” section starts in 2015 with the publication of the Tampa Bay Times Pulitzer-winning series “Failure Factories.”
That was the impetus for much of the vicious educational grifting and human exploitation that followed — and led directly to the Jefferson debacle.
A scandal always happening in plain sight
Just reading the timeline of headlines I’ve provided after the “key players” section is an extraordinarily revealing narrative about narrative itself — and the power of cynicism to control it. I hope you will scroll through and realize how much great reporting has been done is this scandal, which is years in the making.
And yet, no one — until now, I hope — could create a narrative powerful enough to counter the mislabeled “Failure Factories” tagline. It’s a true human and governing tragedy at great scale for our state and its most vulnerable people and children.
And the truest scandal is this:
This tragedy has gutted Florida’s Department of Education until it looks like little more than a state-sponsored criminal enterprise, controlled by unelected hyenas scouring local community education money for whatever scraps of flesh they can get. That’s the real narrative of the “Failure Factories” era, not “Failure Factories” itself.
Not surprisingly, the state education system is falling apart in many places because of this corruption and the destruction of human capacity to serve kids. That is also the narrative.
I think you’ll find what follows a very useful tool in understanding why and how this happened. And I think that’s a necessary condition for starting the re-building that must happen.
And if you want to skip all what follows, here are the three most important pieces of journalism to read about where the scandal stands today.
“Chartered: Florida's First Private Takeover Of A Public School System” — Jessica Bakeman, WLRN, Miami NPR
“Florida officials tried to steer education contract to former lawmaker’s company,” — Lawrence Mower and Ana Ceballos, Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald
“Florida education officials took aim at local control amid bid-rigging allegations” — Lawrence Mower and Ana Ceballos, Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald
The key players
Here are the key players in the immediate DoE/Jefferson scandal before us, as I see them, in order of importance.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: Appointed Richard Corcoran as Florida Commissioner of Education. Continues to employ him despite open corruption on display. Refuses to investigate MGT bid-rigging. Sold out Trump-voting Jefferson County to empower and pay Miami charter school grifters closely allied to Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush who pillaged this tiny rural Trump-voting (53 percent) county. The buck stops with DeSantis. This is his education system.
Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran: Former speaker of the Florida House. Current public school-hating grifter Education Commissioner. Architect of failed “Schools of Hope” plan. Former Marco Rubio chief of staff and business partner of MGT’s Trey Traviesa. At the center of the bid rigging scandal detailed by Lawrence Mower and Ana Ceballos designed to steer Jefferson County millions to Traviesa’s MGT. Has destroyed the capability of Florida’s Department of Education to execute anything.
Ralph Arza, Director of Government Relations for the Florida Charter School Alliance: Convicted criminal witness tamperer too racist for Ron DeSantis’ 2018 campaign. Close “friend” of Corcoran. Unfettered access to DoE leadership. Unofficial chancellor of grift at DoE. Wields massive power in Florida education. Major player in Jefferson scandal, where he has no official stakeholder role, but four relatives have jobs with Somerset Charter. Certainly more powerful in the real world than actual K12 chancellor Jacob Oliva. See full dive on Ralph here.
Florida Department of Education K-12 Chancellor Jacob Oliva: At the center of dueling corrupt bids for DoE’s Jefferson County external operator work. Was listed as part of the company Vice Chancellor Melissa Ramsey and former Board of Education of Chair Andy Tuck formed to illegally bid on the Jefferson work. Claims this was against his will and was cleared in the Ramsey/Tuck part of the bid-rigging scandal.
Oliva’s role in the MGT part of the bid-rigging scandal has not been investigated. But investigators looking into the Tuck/Ramsey corruption established that Oliva ordered a subordinate to use a draft agreement with MGT to craft a request for quote that only MGT and the Tuck/Ramsey company responded to. Oliva is also now one of the three finalists for superintendent of the Miami-Dade public schools. See Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times reporting for more detail on Oliva’s role in the MGT bid/negotiations.
State Sen. Manny Diaz, Jr., R-Hialeah: The Florida state Senate’s education committee chair. As a state representative, helped secure legislation and funding in 2017 for Somerset Charter’s takeover of Jefferson County. This is from reporter Jessica Bakeman: “Diaz is a top administrator at a private college also affiliated with Academica [and Somerset.] Doral College was created in 2010 to offer advanced courses at charter schools, including Somerset Academy schools. Somerset alone pays Doral College more than $100,000 a year in public money for delivering college-level courses at the network’s schools, including in Jefferson County. And Diaz’s boss — the president of Doral College — has led the transition to charter schools in Jefferson as a consultant for Somerset.”
Diaz is also leading the current overhaul of Florida’s testing and accountability system, which DeSantis promised will reduce testing and improve the testing experience. Diaz’s legislation does neither.
Trey Traviesa, former state legislator, owner of MGT consultancy: This is from the Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times story about the MGT bid process. “Based in Tampa, MGT provides consulting services to state and local governments on technology and schools. Since 2009, 10 state agencies in Florida, including the Department of Education, have paid the company more than $11.4 million for various services. Traviesa, its CEO, is a former GOP lawmaker who was once registered on a business, Step to Success Inc., with Corcoran and his wife, a founder of a Pasco County charter school.” See full Times/Herald story on how the Jefferson RFQ was tailored by DoE to favor MGT.
Melissa Ramsey, former DoE vice chancellor, and Andy Tuck, former Florida Board of Education Chair: Formed a company with no apparent staff or resources and illegally bid on the DoE/Jefferson work. Moreover, Ramsey ordered her subordinate Caroline Wood to help prepare Ramsay and Tuck’s proposal. This was after Oliva ordered Wood to build the DoE/Jefferson RFQ using the draft MGT agreement. Ramsey resigned the same day investigators interviewed her. Tuck resigned his position on the Florida Board of Education rather than submit to an interview by DoE investigators. Deep dive from me on Tuck/Ramsey here.
Caroline Wood: As mentioned, a DoE subordinate ordered by two different supervisors (Oliva and Ramsey) on two different corrupt bid paths to do corrupt acts. Wood said this to DoE investigators: “… I should have known better, I just, I trusted a lot of people that I shouldn’t have trusted and um, I put myself in a position to be reprimanded and in trouble and potentially losing my position when that’s never what I had hoped, never wanted…”
Suzanne Pridgeon, DoE’s deputy commissioner of Finance and Operations: Replaced Ramsey and Oliva in dealing with the elected Jefferson School Board. In a public Jefferson board meeting on Dec. 13, Pridgeon hid the corruption in the external operator bid process from the elected Jefferson Board, which had many many questions about what was happening. She engaged in real time cover up of a scandal that was not public yet but mattered deeply to the elected Jefferson Board and its constituents. See deep dive on that here.
Christina Pushaw, Gov. DeSantis spokeswoman: Only voice of DeSantis to speak about the scandal to this point. Her written statement of the governor’s position is an open cover-up, similar, but snarkier, to Pridgeon’s cover-up.“The investigation has concluded, and the commissioner and DOE have been fully transparent about the investigation, its findings and the actions taken by the agency. Rep. Tant’s letter is a few weeks late.” Pushaw is referring to Democratic state Rep. Allison Tant asking for an investigation of the entire external operator bid process for DoE/Jefferson County. Pushaw has unilaterally declared a “few weeks” statute of limitations on investigating public corruption in Florida.
Eric Hall, former DoE chancellor of “innovation,” now secretary of the Department of Juvenile Justice: Now best known as DeSantis/Corcoran’s “CRT chancellor,” Hall came to Florida from a North Carolina school privatization program similar to the Jefferson County effort. He’s not been implicated in the DoE/Jefferson scandal; but he was arguably Corcoran’s top deputy as the Jefferson transition was happening.
Important players for context and narrative
The Florida Charter School Alliance: The organization that employs Ralph Arza. Its board includes Patricia Levesque, who runs Jeb Bush’s foundation, which has long been the education shadow government in Florida. It also includes John Kirtley, the father of Florida’s disastrous, failed, segregated, 61 percent 2-year-drop-out rate voucher system. That’s an entirely different astonishing Florida scandal right there in plain sight. See my “Jeb Crow” series, which focused on vouchers. It is impossible to get any closer to Jeb Bush on education than Levesque and Kirtley. Deep dive here. If they support and enable Ralph Arza, it means Jeb does, too.
The Florida Democratic governor candidates and campaign consultant class: Not one of the three Democratic governor candidates has tried to engage this massive scandal beyond a couple of stray tweets. I see no evidence whatsoever that any of them have any interest in trying to take power from Ron DeSantis and use it to stop the corruption they whine about often throughout his government. Forcing DeSantis to fire Richard Corcoran over a massive corruption scandal and open cover-up would immediately become the biggest narrative in the race. It might make it competitive; it would definitely put DeSantis on defense and wound him for ‘24. They won’t even try. Dems are fools to give them money. They will not get mine (I’m an NPA).
I have to conclude that the Democratic governor campaigns are little more than fundraising scams for Florida’s failed Democratic campaign consultants. There is always money for consultants to skim from whatever Ron DeSantis’s “outrage” of the moment is. DeSantis and Dem consultants alike fundraise off of the theater. Dems will get smashed in ‘22; but the Dem consultant class will get paid.
[UPDATE: Since I wrote this, each campaign has begun to to engage the corruption scandal. And the Democratic Congressional delegation called for a federal investigation. And lest you think this is a partisan thing, I will happily talk to Trumps minion’s about how his ‘24 GOP primary rival sold out a rural Trump-voting county for the sake of Miami grifters.]
The Tampa Bay Times: Florida’s co-paper-of-record kicked off the “Failure Factories” era that created the DoE/Jefferson scandal on which it has done the most crucial reporting. The Times should publicly reckon with that reality and the arc.
The “Failure Factories” reporters: My quarrel with Nathaniel Lash, Cara Fitzpatrick, Michael LaForgia, and Lisa Gartner has never been the quality of their reporting. It was outstanding and important. My quarrel is what they allowed corrupt and malign power to do with their Pulitzer-winning work without any public objection of which I’m aware. And they all benefitted from it, career-wise, except maybe one. Full run down on my “Failure Factories” critique here, as part of my “Jeb Crow” series.
Jeb Bush and Barack Obama: I suspect Dem candidates and consultants are avoiding this massive DeSantis corruption vulnerability because challenging it makes the Dem donor and corporate power class uncomfortable. The “liberal reformer” class knows this scandal belongs to them as almost as much as Republicans. They know Jeb Bush and Barack Obama agree almost completely on education policy.
You’ll see in my timeline that Obama’s Education Secretary Arne Duncan tore into Florida local public schools — not the Republican state government that underfunds and sabotages them — after “Failure Factories.”
By contrast, you’ve heard nary a peep from important federal education Democrats about the abject DoE/Jefferson corruption, even though Jefferson is a majority black district. And of course, the Jeb Bush empire owns everything about the failed, corrupt Florida Model of Education. Jeb’s 1998 election created it — DoE/Jefferson is its logical endpoint.
Now here’s the headline timeline, divided into eras. For the most part, it’s just the headline and writer, with a link to follow. I’ve made a few clarifying editor notes and noted a few important events that weren’t reported when they happened.
The “Failure Factories” era begins (Aug. 2015 - March 2017)
August 12, 2015: First Tampa Bay Times “Failure Factories” story runs, “Why Pinellas is the worst place in Florida to be black and go to public school.” The package is supposed to be about segregation in Pinellas County schools — Nathaniel Lash, Cara Fitzpatrick, Michael LaForgia, and Lisa Gartner, Tampa Bay Times [Important Ed. note — the use of this tagline, not the reporting, by Richard Corcoran and others will drive virtually everything that happens for the rest of this timeline.]
Dec. 9, 2015: "‘Failure Factories’: Duncan blasts Pinellas school system for ‘education malpractice,’ — Lisa Gartner and Cara Fitzpatick, Tampa Bay Times [Ed. note — Duncan is Arne Duncan, Barack Obama’s Secretary of Education. By contrast, USDoE has ignored the DoE/Jefferson scandal.]
March 29, 2016: “Tampa Bay Times honored for 'Failure Factories' investigation” — Times staff
April 16, 2016: “Tampa Bay Times wins Pulitzer Prizes in local and investigative reporting” — Tampa Bay Times
March 7, 2017: Corcoran's top spending priority: Ending 'failure factories' — likely by boosting charter schools — Jessica Bakeman, Politico [Ed. note — At this point, Corcoran is speaker of the Florida House, not Education Commissioner.]
“Schools of Hope,” and the Jefferson takeover: prelude to a massive education corruption scandal (May 2017-Sept. 2019)
May 9, 2017: “Florida Legislature approves dramatic charter school plan” — Gary Fineout — Associated Press
May 24, 2017: “Can this Florida school district be saved? A charter school operator hopes so.” — Ryan Dailey, Tallahassee Democrat
Sept. 5, 2017: “How House GOP leaders lobbied black Democrats on contentious charter schools bill” — Jessica Bakeman, Politico
Oct. 2, 2017: “Lawsuit filed in dispute over HB 7069, escalating political war”
Oct. 17, 2017: The Orlando Sentinel publishes “Schools without Rules,” its Pulitzer-worthy expose of Florida’s horrible, scammy private voucher schools. Its impact should have equalled “Failure Factories.” Politicians and educrats ignored it; but that doesn’t change the great work that Leslie Postal, Annie Martin, and Beth Kassab produced. It became very influential for me later.
Sept. 14, 2018: “DeSantis blocks [Arza] fundraiser over 'hurtful and disgusting racial slurs'" — Marc Caputo, Politico [Ed. note — This is same racist criminal witness tamperer Ralph Arza, a major player in the Jefferson scandal, who is employed and supported by the Florida Charter School Alliance and its board members, who are closely tied to Jeb Bush.]
Nov. 30, 2018: “DeSantis quietly telling education leaders Corcoran likely next commissioner” — Andrew Atterbury and Matt Dixon, Politico
Dec. 17, 2018: “Richard Corcoran unanimously appointed Commissioner of Education” — Emily Mahoney, Tampa Bay Times
Feb. 28, 2019: “Florida education department creates new post to focus on ‘innovation’. [Eric Hall] held a similar post in the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.” — Jeff Solochek, Tampa Bay Times [Ed. note: This is Eric Hall, who wrote a thesis on critical race theory, which will became a scandal among culture war grifters in 2021. More importantly, Hall ran a similar to Jefferson County private takeover of public schools in North Carolina.]
August, 2019: “Chartered: Florida’s first private takeover of a public school system” — Jessica Bakeman, WLRN, Miami NPR. [Ed. note — very, very important package. Most comprehensive analysis of the Jefferson/Somerset Charter “experiment”.]
August 23, 2019: “Florida Public School Leaders Fret Over Corcoran's Education Privatization Vision” — Lynn Hatter, WFSU, Tallahassee NPR
Sept. 19, 2019: “Activist judges just effectively abolished Florida school boards. Gut check time for board members.” — Billy Townsend, “Public Enemy Number 1”
The Jefferson charter “experiment” quietly ends in failure with Somerset Charter running away from a “disaster” (January to October, 2021)
Jan. 17, 2021: “Jefferson Plans To Take Back Its Schools As Charter Experiment Winds Down” — Lynn Hatter, WFSU, Tallahassee NPR
July 20, 2021: “School Board … steps reclaiming schools” — Lazaro Aleman, Monticello News and Jefferson County Journal
August 30, 2021: Personnel note: Bethany Swonson in permanently as Department of Education Chief of Staff — Renzo Downey, Florida Politics. [Ed note — Story notes that Oliva is promoted to senior chancellor, like Eric Hall]
Sept. 14, 2021: “DeSantis calls for an end to most spring testing in Florida schools” —Jeff Solochek, Tampa Bay Times
Sept. 15, 2021: “DeSantis dumps Jeb. Delicious, far-reaching chaos ensues” — Billy Townsend, "Public Enemy Number 1”
Oct. 19, 2021: “District has plan for taking back schools” — Lazaro Aleman, Monticello News and Jefferson County Journal
The Jefferson external operator [MGT, Traviesa, Tuck, Ramsey] bid-rigging scandal breaks (Dec. 23 — onward)
Nov. 1, 2021: A crucial meeting in the DoE/Jefferson scandal occurs. From TBT/Herald: “On Nov. 1, a week before the state opened the project for bids, the Department of Education hosted a meeting to discuss the transition plan with Jefferson County school superintendent Eydie Tricquet, Jefferson County’s current charter school operator and Traviesa.
Also included was prominent charter school lobbyist Ralph Arza, a longtime close ally of Rubio and Corcoran who resigned from the Legislature in 2006 after using racial slurs during a drunken tirade. Arza has four relatives, including his brother and sister-in-law, working in Jefferson County for the company currently operating the schools.”
Nov. 15, 2021: The DoE’s Office of Inspector General opens an investigation into the Tuck/Ramsey bid on the same day DoE receives it. No public announcement is made.
Nov. 17, 2021: Rather than submit to an interview, Tuck resigns from the Board of Education, retroactively effective to Nov. 16, the day before, the day of his last BoE meeting. No public announcement is made. No media report the resignation, to my knowledge. Full rundown from later here.
Nov. 19, 2021: “Gov. DeSantis names new Department of Juvenile Justice head” — Jason Delgado, Florida Politics [Ed. note — this is former DoE “innovation chancellor” Eric Hall.
Nov. 22, 2021: DoE’s OIG interviews Melissa Ramsey. Investigators report twice catching her in lies, although they do not use that word. She resigns the same day. No public announcement is made. No media report the resignation, to my knowledge. See full rundown from later here.
Dec. 20, 2021: “Top DeSantis official [Eric Hall] embraced critical race theory in dissertation” — Andrew Atterbury and Matt Dixon, Politico
Dec. 22, 2021: “After critical race theory dissertation, DJJ Secretary Eric Hall explains pivot” — Jason Delgado, Florida Politics
Dec. 23, 2021: “Two Education Department leaders resign after investigation, conflict of interest” — Jason Delgado, “Florida Politics” [Ed note — First reporting of the Tuck/Ramsey resignations. The DoE/Jefferson story breaks. I notice it and get interested.]
Jan. 2, 2022: “Re-open the Florida DoE/Jefferson bid corruption probe, pt 1: Florida's state education leadership is rotten” — Billy Townsend, "Public Enemy Number 1”
Jan. 4, 2022: “Re-open the DoE/Jefferson probe, pt 1.5: Why was politically-connected MGT of America on the RFQ template?” — Billy Townsend, "Public Enemy Number 1”
Jan. 8, 2022: “The DoE/Jefferson County scandal: understand the difference between a "charter school" and an "external operator" — Billy Townsend, "Public Enemy Number 1”
Jan. 11, 2022: “Florida officials tried to steer education contract to former lawmaker’s company” — Lawrence Mower and Ana Ceballos, Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald [Ed. note — this is THE story to read about the bid-rigging scandal. This broke it open. This names Ralph Arza as a player in the scandal for the first time.]
Jan. 11, 2022: “The blockbuster Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald DoE/Jefferson scandal story puts Corcoran's career on the clock” — Billy Townsend, "Public Enemy Number 1”
Jan. 11, 2022: “Florida Senate panel backs bill to overhaul students’ annual testing. The current bill, as written, does not appear to reduce testing for students.” — Ana Ceballos, Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times [Ed. note — Manny Diaz is running this bill.]
Jan. 12, 2022: “Make DeSantis defend the huge education scandal that should define the rest of his term” — Billy Townsend, "Public Enemy Number 1”
Jan. 13, 2022: “‘Gross negligence,’ conflicts plague Florida’s search for private firm to help troubled school district” — Leslie Postal, Orlando Sentinel
Jan. 13, 2022: “Florida education contract stinks of insider advantage” — Tampa Bay Times editorial
Jan. 14, 2022: “Interview questions the Miami-Dade School Board should ask would-be superintendent Jacob Oliva” — Billy Townsend, "Public Enemy Number 1”
Jan 14, 2022: “Florida education officials took aim at local control amid bid-rigging allegations” Ana Ceballos and Lawrence Mower, Herald/Times [Ed. note — VERY IMPORTANT READ. Headline for this really should say: “Corcoran and DoE surrender to Jefferson; DeSantis’ office desperately tries to end scandal scrutiny with official coverup”
Jan. 16, 2022: “The end of woke-washing, pt 1: the "Failure Factories" era dies brutally with the DoE/Jefferson corruption scandal and cover-up” — Billy Townsend, "Public Enemy Number 1”
Jan. 17, 2022: “The end of woke washing, pt. 2: "Kill public education and replace it with nothing" isn't a winner for anyone” — Billy Townsend, "Public Enemy Number 1”
Jan. 18, 2022: “Jefferson gets its schools back following bid shenanigans and efforts to keep it with a charter operator” — Sarah Mueller, WFSU, Tallahassee NPR
Jan. 18, 2022: — “Florida education scandal reveals conflicts, money-grubbing for tax dollars” — Scott Maxwell column, Orlando Sentinel
Jan. 20, 2022: “FDLE should put "disgusting" convicted witness tamperer Ralph Arza under oath in the Corcoran/DoE/Jefferson scandal” — Billy Townsend, "Public Enemy Number 1”
Jan. 21, 2022: “Ad injects partisan politics into Miami-Dade superintendent selection.” — Jessica Bakeman, WLRN, Miami NPR [Ed. note — the ad is touting Jacob Oliva, who is one of three finalists for the Miami-Dade job.]
Jan. 22, 2022: “The Jefferson School Board reveals how dirty Florida's DoE is. Don't let Corcoran punish Jefferson's people for that.” — Billy Townsend, "Public Enemy Number 1”