Local
8:00 am
Mon January 9, 2012

New Hotline Aimed at Cracking Down on Financial Abuse in Public Education

The United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania has announced a new hotline people can call if they suspect possible corruption in public education. That includes the misuse of federal funds, any spending irregularities, theft, or kickbacks, or other illegal activity.

"We believe that it is one tool we want to use to demonstrate how committed we are to this effort," said U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton. "We are also doing it because we recognize that most often, in our white collar or corruption work, citizen complaints are a very, very valuable resource to us."

The hotline will be maintained by the U.S. Attorney's Office, and citizens can choose to remain anonymous when reporting suspected corruption. Once potential abuses have been reported, Hickton said that his office will work with the appropriate law enforcement agencies to investigate and possibly take action. He added that school districts receive large amounts of taxpayer dollars, and should use all of it appropriately.

"I can't think of anything more important than the social compact between hard-working Americans who pay taxes and our future in our children through their education," said Hickton. "Over the course of my career I've seen things in reports and in circumstances that lead me to believe this is an area where there is potential for fraud and abuse."

The 24-hour hotline can be reached at 412-894-7515.