Is Corruption Built Into The Charter School System?
Getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar should have ended his career. Instead, David Fehte was hired to lead another charter school.
- Kamal Haasan
As the Executive Director of El Camino Charter High School, David Fehte used his school-issued credit card to pay for a life of luxury. The purchases charged to this card included high-priced meals at Monty’s Prime Steaks & Seafood. Included on the tab was “a $95 bottle of fine Syrah wine”, even though the California education code prohibits using education funds to pay for the purchase of alcoholic beverages. The school-funded credit card was also used to pay “for first-class airfare and luxury hotel rooms”.
An investigation by the Daily News in 2016 also found that Fehte used the card to pay for personal expenses. Among these charges were airline tickets for an itinerary listed under “Mr. David Patrick Fehte/San Antonio Spurs.” This was for a trip where Fehte performed duties as a scout for the NBA team.
The release of this information was devastating for the El Camino Community as parents who demanded accountability were bullied by Fehte and his supporters. One parent at the school stated that they did not “feel comfortable speaking against him. I have spoken with other parents and teachers who do not support him, but are afraid to speak out of fear of retaliation.” A witch hunt commenced for the “trouble makers” and “disgruntled people within the walls of the school” who had tipped the reporter off to the story. A letter was sent to an employer of a parent who criticized Fehte alleging that she was “involved in an attempt to destroy the reputation of a charter school here in Los Angeles” and cautioning the employer that “this kind of behavior [by his employee affects] the image of your business”.
Teachers divided into factions among those who continued to support their Executive Director and those who refused to ignore the violations that had occurred. A…