Attorney General Cooper files lawsuit against Kinston Charter Academy

Apr 27, 2016

Attorney General Roy Cooper filed a lawsuit Tuesday against leaders of a Kinston charter school over the mishandling of public funds.  The complaint filed in Wake County Superior Court alleges CEO Ozie Hall, and the Chair of its Board Demyra McDonald-Hall falsely inflated the number of students Kinston Charter Academy would enroll so they could get more tax dollars, even though they knew the school would not be able to stay open for the 2013-2014 term. The couple is also accused of taking out risky loans with exorbitant fees and interest rates and spending public money earmarked for educational purposes on themselves.  According to a press release from the North Carolina Department of Justice, Attorney General Roy Cooper is asking the court to freeze the defendants’ assets and order them to repay misspent state funds as well as pay damages and civil penalties.  Kinston Charter Academy closed its doors in September 2013, leaving 189 students without a school and teachers without jobs while still owed salary and benefits.  Currently state law fails to adequately provide how North Carolina can fully recover taxpayer dollars from charter schools that fail or become insolvent.