The executive director of the union representing more than 300 Oakland school principals and administrative managers is accused of misappropriated more than $200,000.
JoAnna Lougin, the long-time executive director of the United Administrators of Oakland Schools union, was fired earlier this week following a forensic investigation of the union’s finances for this year. The UAOS executive board first learned of the missing funds in July.
“This has been a long and taxing process. Our initial investigation and subsequent forensic audit revealed that our union has lost over $200,000,” UAOS President Lee Thomas wrote to its members on Monday.
“This was due in large part to a profound lack of fiscal transparency and accountability. To that end, we have already received, and will be rapidly implementing, specific recommendations to improve not only financial practices, but also overall health and efficacy of UAOS.”
“It is important to note that we are fiscally solvent and continue to provide member services. We have been working closely with our legal team, the authorities, and the American Federation of School Administrators (“AFSA”) to recoup the lost funds,” Thomas added.
The union did not immediately respond for comment on Lougin’s dismissal and further details about the alleged misappropriated funds. Lougin could not be reached for comment.
Signs that something was amiss with the union’s finances was first communicated to its members in early August. An email from the union’s president referenced “evidence of fiscal management” and assured members their dues were accounted for and changes to how its finances are overseen had already been implemented.
In subsequent correspondences with union members, an initial investigation had identified $127,400 in missing funds over the past year. Following a forensic audit of the union’s finances, the total of missing funds increased to more than $200,000, the union said.
Lougin is a retired former Oakland middle school principal, according to the union’s website, and became its executive director in 2005.
This is a developing story. Please check back for more details.