by David Safier
I posted yesterday about some serious misuse of charter school funds at North Star Charter High School in Phoenix. Here's a follow up with another possible misuse of funds — not as significant, but indicative of the way people can use charters for their own financial gain when no one at the state level is minding the store.
Before I launch into this, I want to say that I believe my dollar figures and timeline are accurate, but some of it may be incorrect since I don't have complete confirmation of all the information.
Lynda Dickens owned a hair salon and beauty school in Los Angeles, Hair II Hair. Lynda is the daughter of Aldine Dickens, who is at the center of the happenings at North Star I described in yesterday's post. (In that post, I referred to Lynda Dickens as Lynda Simmons. Same person.)
In 2004, Lynda sold part or all of the equipment from Hair II Hair to North Star Charter for about $8,000. Aldine Dickens received 20% of the commission for the sale, acting for her "client," North Star Charter School. She was, of course, the Director of the school at the time, so receiving a commission for buying the equipment for the school seems questionable to me.
My understanding is that North Star bought the equipment with the idea of starting a cosmetology training program at the school.
In 2005, Aldine Dickens created a new corporation, North Star School of Cosmetology, Inc. She was listed as President and Director. The corporation was dissolved in 2008.
My understanding is that the equipment, purchased from Hair II Hair which was owned by Lynda Dickens Simmons, was never used by North Star Charter. It sat in a storage shed. It may still be there unless it has been disposed of.
[Note: You may remember Lynda Dickens Simmons from the previous post about the school. When her mother, Aldine, turned the directorship of the school over to Kurt Huzar in 2008, part of the deal was that Lynda was given a 5 year contract to consult and teach at the school, worth a total of $120,000,
or about $24,000 per year. Both Aldine and her husband, Bernard, were
given even more generous contracts.]