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Former New Rochelle Board of Education President David Lacher Makes Material False Statement to District Auditors

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Former New Rochelle Board of Education President David Lacher Makes Material False Statement to District Auditors

November 26, 2014 - 03:00
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DavidLacher

NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Former New Rochelle Board of Education President David Lacher appears to have made a material false statement in his 2014 Disclosure Form filed with the District's external auditors in July. The form was obtained under a Freedom of Information request.

Under New York State law, School Board members may elect to purchase personal medical insurance under a plan offered to employees. Lacher's disclosure filing obfuscates his failure to pay monthly invoices for the better part of two years, ignoring repeated demands and threats from the District to make payment in full or risk having insurance cancelled retroactively.

In a filing signed by David Lacher, dated July 23, 2014, Lacher was asked "Have you or any related party of yours been indebted to the School District at any time since July 1, 2013?"

David Lacher Related Party Questionnaire 2014

LacherDisclosureForm2014 Q3

Lacher checks "yes" to the question and then adds a note which reads "ongoing monthly charges for health insurance purchased through the District".

The notation could be considered a material false statement, and appears to be intended to mislead the auditor.

First, an ongoing monthly charge is not typically understood as a "debt", certainly not within the context of an audit report. It would be like listing a cell phone bill or a cable TV bill that a person pays each month as a debt.

Second, the issue with Lacher's medical insurance is not that he was incurring "ongoing monthly charges for health insurance purchased through the District" but rather that he was not paying those charges on a timely basis for years.

Third, the amount of the debt is not disclosed which, at its peak in February, 2014, when Talk of the Sound first confronted Lacher about his medical insurance, he owed $13,500.

Lacher Debt Chart Table 2013 14 455

Talk of the Sound broke the story about Lacher's repeated failure to pay his medical insurance invoices from the School District in April. Within two months, having lost the support of his fellow board members, he was not re-elected for a second year as President as is tradition in New Rochelle.

The Disclosure Form is a standard part of the annual audit process, conducted by O'Connor Davies, a leading government auditor in Westchester County. The auditing firm defines "related party" as a party that "has the ability to significantly influence the management or operating policies of the other, to the extent that one of the transacting parties might be prevented from fully pursuing its own separate interest" and this definition applies to "School District management, and members of their immediate families; and any other party with which the School District may deal with.

Management is defined as "any person(s) having responsibility for achieving the objectives of the organization and the concomitant authority to establish the policies and make the decisions by which such objectives arc to be pursued" and would normally include "Members of the Board, the Superintendent, School District Clerk, Department Heads, etc. and any other individual person who performs similar policy making functions."

These definitions would apply to David Lacher.

Talk of the Sound has filed a follow up Freedom of Information request for all Disclosure Form by all members of the New Rochelle Board of Education from the beginning of time to the present day.