Bowser Considers Returning Charter School Founder’s Money
Prominent charter school operator Kent Amos found himself in hot water last week when the District government sued him for allegedly using a for-profit management company to siphon away money from his nonprofit charter school. Along with threatening Amos' reputation and maybe more, the lawsuit also leaves mayoral hopeful Muriel Bowser with a conundrum: What to do with all this cash?
According to the District's Office of the Attorney General, Amos used his for-profit company—Community Action Partners and Charter School Management—to illicitly funnel millions of dollars away from Dorothy I. Height Community Academy Public Charter School. Last July, Amos' company used some of its money to make a $2,000 corporate contribution to Bowser's run.
Following the lawsuit, Bowser's campaign is considering whether to give the money back.
“We’re going to look at it," says Bowser campaign manager Bo Shuff.
Shuff says that Bowser didn't know about the contribution from the company until recently. Lawyer Fred Cooke Jr., who's representing Amos, didn't respond to a request for comment.
Bowser rival David Catania hasn't received any contributions from Amos or his company, according to Office of Campaign Finance records, although the company did make a contribution to Vince Gray's failed re-election campaign.
LL's not sure what it says about the state of the District's charter schools that this isn't even the first time allegedly tainted charter school money has come up in the mayor's race. After Options Public Charter School was caught up in a self-dealing scandal, Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells returned the contributions he received from school managers.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery