Final audit of Central Nutrition Center released - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Final audit of Central Nutrition Center released

The final audit of operations at the Memphis City Schools Central Nutrition Center places blame not only on the center's former director, but the former Chief Operating Officer of the district.

The audit's 19 pages cover allegations of misspent money, health risks to Memphis City School students, and a cover-up.


The audit first claims that Chief Operating Officer Michael Goar turned a blind eye to the actions of James Jordan, the Director of Food Services.  According to the audit, Goar ignored letters of complaint about Jordan and allowed him to stay on during the internal audit.  The audit committee even claims Jordan and his wife spent a weekend at the Nutrition Center shredding documents and disposing of the shredded papers in several trash bags.

The audit goes on to say Goar gave Jordan a higher salary, too much autonomy, and an inflated 20-day severance package.
According to the audit, Jordan circumvented local, state and federal rules by not bidding out contracts, and failing to get School Board approval for thousands of dollars spent. Jordan failed to get approval for more than $100,000 in new furniture to a $37,000, to $86,000  for professional development and travel costs for select employees.

The audit also alleges Jordan never tested foods from a new food vendor that could have put students in danger.

Finally, it claims Jordan had a monthly cell phone bill of $600, and used nutrition funds to buy digestive aids and sinus medication for employees.

According to the audit, a claim by Jordan that he was sabotaged by black employees was unfounded. 

School district officials said Wednesday the new Director of Food Services will need support to turn around situation at the Central Nutrition Center, which is not low on funds, and is undergoing an organizational overhaul.

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