Albuquerque school employees claim similar behavior from Jordan - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Albuquerque school employees claim similar behavior from Jordan

Recently, a Memphis City Schools audit found former food services director James Jordan lost more than $3 million after being hired in 2006.

Meanwhile, an over-ordering mistake on some foods cost the district more than $500,000.

Now, Action News 5 has uncovered accusations of mis-spending by Jordan in the amount of millions of taxpayer dollars in New Mexico just before he came to Memphis.

In a two-page letter addressed to Memphis City Schools Acting Superintendent Dan Ward, Jordan is blasted for the job he did as Albuquerque Public Schools Nutrition Services Director, before he came to Memphis.

People named in the letter included former Albuquerque Schools employees who worked with Jordan between 2002 until he came Memphis in 2006.
    
One of those people, Myra Eden, said she has been following the Memphis case closely.

"We could just remove the school district's name there and just put our school district's name in it," Eden said.

At Memphis City Schools, Jordan was accused of splitting purchase orders to hide excessive spending, such as millions of dollars on new furniture, Direct TV, party decorations, and unapproved emergency food purchases.

Eden said it was the same story a thousand miles away.

"He did stuff like that all the time," she said. "He bought furniture and he hired a lot of extra people."

In Memphis, an internal audit said Jordan mis-managed $3.7 million dollars in food funds.  In Albuquerque, the Nutrition Director before Jordan said she left the position with a $3.5 million dollar surplus.  When Jordan left, former co-workers confirmed they had an almost $3 million deficit.

"(He) started spending money like it was growing on trees, and we had always been very frugal," Eden said.
 
Eden added that a group of directors there even had a meeting to protest Jordan's activities, and wrote letters to the superintendent.

Officials with Memphis City School could not be reached for comment Monday, a holiday.  However, Action News 5 has confirmed the district did receive a copy of the letter.  School system officials are still reviewing the case.

Jordan no longer lives in the Memphis area.


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