10 Investigates Asks School Board President, Member About Questionable Contracts

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Columbus School Board President Carol Perkins responded Thursday to a 10 Investigates story that exposed serious questions about fellow board member Hanifah Kamon.

Kambon’s husband, Ako, and his educational consulting company, Visionary Leaders Institute, have received a series of contracts from the school district.

“What I believe is that a board member should follow the policies and procedures of the ethics laws,” said Perkins.

But 10 Investigates found the deals may have violated state law.

WBNS-10TV found nearly $12,000 in contracts flowing between the school district and Visionary Leaders Institute. Those contracts came after Hanifah came to power in 2010.

Two of them came after the district's lawyer pointed out a law that said board members should not have an indirect financial interest in district contracts. That includes business deals with spouses, according to the district’s attorney.

“It is a conflict of interest,” said Catherine Turcer said of the watchdog group Common Cause.

Turcer said on Wednesday that the relationship raises red flags because the money from the district is going right back into the Kambon household.

Kambon has denied wrongdoing.

Late on Thursday, 10 Investigates caught up with Kambon on her way to the district audit and accountability committee meeting.

She told 10 Investigates that she would “be right out” to answer questions about Visionary after the meeting. Kambon never returned to talk.

She has yet to provide a response, while her critics say the state should investigate.

10 Investigates is still seeking responses to unanswered questions in this story,  like how Visionary received a $6,000 contract without a school board vote.

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December 19, 2012: Conduct Questioned After Columbus School Board Member’s Husband Receives Payment From District