I-Team Investigates: Union City Follow-Up

A spokesman for Union City Mayor Brian Stack says he isn't very concerned over the audit of the city's school district.

"While we're concerned about some of the findings in the audit, some of them are several years old," says Joe Lauro, the spokesman. "Some have been corrected, the rest will be corrected."

There is some concern Stack's lack of concern stems from the fact he counts board members and administrators among his constituents. The mayor received more than $15,000 last year for his state Senate campaign from school personnel.

School Superintendent Stanley Sanger gave the mayor four donations totaling $4,500. Four of the district's five assistant superintendents donated a total of $6,000. A board member personally donated $2,600, and although the board vice president only donated $500, she served as Stack's campaign coordinator in 2002.

The district has come under the microscope of other local politicians. State Sen. Gerry Cardinale (R), a longtime critic of Union City schools, has some harsh words for the district he accuses of throwing away funds.

"They have made an art of wasting public money," he says. "They have turned the education system into a political patronage sewer."

Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R) is also critical of the district's spending policies. "The public is so fed up with abuse and fraud and waste," says Karrow.

Stack's office has fired back at Karrow, accusing the assemblywoman of playing politics with poor children and asserting the public's right to donate to whatever candidate they please.

"Whether it's the teachers union, school board associations ? everyone has the right to make political contributions," says Lauro. "We don't see how this is any different."

Karrow is calling on state Attorney General Anne Milgram < to investigate. Milgram says she has the state audit, and her staff is looking into it.

I-Team Investigates: Union City Schools Spending

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