Former CCPA superintendent Hamm faces new allegations
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -
Although she's already been indicted by a Hamilton County grand jury, former Cincinnati College Preparatory Academy superintendent Lisa Hamm is facing new allegations she misspent school money. They're leveled against her in a new report out Tuesday from State Auditor Dave Yost.
The state auditor accused Hamm and former school treasurer Stephanie Millard of misusing nearly $520,000 in school money in an audit that was made public months after the pair were indicted last year. The new report adds an additional $37,604 from fiscal year 2011.
Yost claims Hamm spent money that was not authorized by the board on tickets for Hawaiian Airlines, Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tours, and Cirque Du Soleil.
In an interview with FOX19 last summer, Hamm denied the allegations and said that she did have board approval for all of the purchases. Today, she e-mailed a copy of a document purporting to be the minutes of a school board meeting in which members approved spending $2,000 "for registration and meals" for Hamm to attend an international education conference in Hawaii.
The board's authorization did not mention transportation or entertainment.
Meanwhile, prosecutors accuse Hamm and Millard of doctoring some of the board minutes.
One of their attorneys, Phil Heimlich, says the new report from the state auditor will have no bearing on the upcoming trial. He does not foresee additional charges either.
"I don't think so," he said. "They've had this evidence for years. If they wanted to charge my clients with anything with regard to that, they would've done so."
Hamm told FOX19 last summer that all of the money she spent went to better the lives of her inner-city school teachers and students. She indicated both the educators and kids come from families where attending concerts or plays or going on trips is out of reach. She claims the money went toward broadening her teachers' horizons so they could inspire their students.
"Proverbs says ‘Without vision people perish," Hamm said last summer. "And it's very important for people to have a vision for their own lives. And in order to do that, they need to experience what's possible in life. And in order to transfer that to the children, they have to experience it themselves."
FOX19 asked attorney Heimlich if that couldn't be done more cheaply.
"Well, I don't want to get into the specifics here," he said.
Hamm's and Millard's trial is set to begin May 27. Heimlich said he's confident a jury of their peers will find them not guilty on all 26 counts once the defense has a chance to explain the motivation behind Hamm's spending, which Millard had to sign-off on.