By all accounts, Niagara Falls School District Superintendent Carmen Granto is a well respected and well liked gentleman. But the ongoing release of the sordid financial details of his tenure as the district chief cannot simply be excused with his resignation.
In an analysis by the The Buffalo News, Granto was found to have used his credit card at will, with no limits. His expenses included limousines, golf outings and expensive dinners, with alcohol.
Unfortunately, the most recent indiscretions are far from the first. Both the state comptroller's office and the state education Department cite improprieties in the handling of the district's finances.
Granto, upon learning of the comptroller's recent audit, promptly announced his resignation. But why should it be allowed to end there? Why should we, the taxpayers, reward Granto with what will likely be a six-digit pension? What he has done here, with taxpayer dollars, is no different than what we read in the paper every day. Greed. Corporate greed. School district greed. The only difference is that instead of the shareholder and customers paying, we, the metaphorically speaking shareholders and customers, have been the ones paying the bill.
Like a typical public sector employee, Granto has that sickening mentality of entitlement. I'm sure he thinks he's been entitled to every inappropriate expenditure he's ever made. I mean, he is the Super of one of the worst school districts in the state. Why shouldn't he shower himself with limos, golf outings and top shelf booze?
It's even more astounding that the members of the school board have known about the ongoing financial irregularities. Previous audits have been highly critical of the board for their lack of oversight. The board's response? Virtually nothing. How the hell any of them can actually be claiming to serve the public is beyond me.
Which leaves us with Granto. I have no idea what the law states is allowed when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars that one is charged with overseeing. But this whole thing flat-out stinks. The comptroller needs to get back in here to to determine if any laws were broken, and if so, an example needs to be made of anyone who knowingly allowed taxpayer dollars to be misused. Of course, you could just resign; apparently that exonerates one from facing the music.