Another Charter School Front Group – More apparent ethics law violations (Re-post)

Here we go again… Yet another faux education advocacy group appears unwilling or unable to follow Connecticut’s ethics laws.

The number of corporate funded education reform and charter school front groups in Connecticut is popping up faster than the buds appear during a warm spring week and these groups seem virtually incapable of adhering to Connecticut’s ethics and lobbying laws.

You may need to read this post a few times to follow the bouncing ball…

It was just a few weeks ago that CT News Junkie columnist Sarah Darer Littman wrote a scathing column on the ethics problems associated with the New York based corporate education reform industry group called Families for Excellent Schools and its subsidiary, and entity called the Coalition for Every Child.

In the piece entitled, Are Charter Advocacy Groups Skirting CT Ethics Laws?, Darer Littman laid out the facts surrounding the Families for Excellent Schools/Coalition for Every Child controversy.

The well-financed charter school advocacy group is the organization that is paying for the television ads promoting Governor Dannel Malloy’s proposed state budget that makes historic cuts to public education while dramatically increasing funding for charter schools.

The group was also one of the sponsors of this week’s pro-charter school rally at the State Capitol that featured Malloy.

As the Hartford Courant reported, charter school students and parents were bused in to Hartford from as far away as Boston and New York City in an attempt to persuade Connecticut legislators to divert even more money so that Steve Perry could open a charter school in Bridgeport and a Bronx charter school chain could open up a charter school in Stamford.

As Sarah Darer Littman explained, not only had Families for Excellent Schools run into ethics issues in New York, but they were failing to report activities and expenditures here in Connecticut.

Now it looks like another new charter school advocacy group called “FaithActs for Education” is failing to report its lobbying related activities as required under state law – violations that should be met with thousands of dollars in fines.

Although FaithActs for Education was rolled out on February 15, 2015 in a well-scripted press conference featuring Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch and a number of Bridgeport ministers, the corporation called FaithActs for Education was actually formed in October 2014.

As the Connecticut Post reported in February, “With the public backing of Mayor Bill Finch, a faith-based education advocacy group, FaithActs for Education, conducted its first meeting on Monday declaring a dedication ‘to improving education for all children in Bridgeport, no matter what type of school they attend.’”

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, who participated in the event said,

“We know where we are and where we need to go. FaithActs for Education will help us to become even more of a force to be reckoned with.”

In addition to supporting Governor Malloy’s education reform agenda and Mayor Bill Finch, as he faces a difficult re-election campaign, FaithActs for Education’s immediate work has been to support Steve Perry’s plan to open a publicly funded, but privately owned and operated charter school in Bridgeport.

According to a press release issued by FaithActs for Education, the entity is led by,

  • Reverend William McCullough, Pastor, Russell Temple CME Church
  • Bishop John P. Diamond, Senior Pastor, Cathedral of Faith,
  • Reverend Janene Hawkins, Pastor, Walters Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church,
  • Reverend Carl McCluster, Pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church,
  • Reverend Cass Shaw, President & CEO, Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport,
  • Reverend Jeremy L. Williams, Pastor, West End Tabernacle CME Church.
  • In addition, the infamous Reverend Kenneth Moales, Pastor, Cathedral of the Holy Spirit is also playing a role with the group.

The organization’s chairman, Reverend McCullough, along with Reverend Moales and Reverend McCluster are all listed as original members of the Governing Council of Steve Perry’s new charter school in Bridgeport and all have been engaged in lobbying the State Board of Education and the General Assembly on Perry’s behalf.

Although we’re led to believe that FaithActs for Education is a homegrown group of religious leaders working to promote educational opportunities for all of Bridgeport’s children, the real story is very different.

According to the incorporation papers filed with the Secretary of the State, FaithActs for Education Inc. was created by Jamilah Prince-Stewart, who now serves as the entity’s Executive Director.

At the time of incorporation she served as the Director of Community Engagement for ConnCAN, Connecticut’s leading charter school lobby group.  In addition, FaithActs’ Director of Operations and Programs left her position as Special Projects Manager at ConnCAN to join the new advocacy group.

At the February 2015 press conference to roll out FaithActs for Education, both ConnCAN CEO Jennifer Alexander and former ConnCAN CEO Alex Johnson were in attendance.

In addition to their lobbying work with ConnCAN, Alexander and Johnson were the individuals who formed A Better Connecticut, Inc. yet another education reform industry front group that spent more than $2 million on television ads during the year before the last gubernatorial election to “thank” Governor Malloy for his “leadership” on behalf of the corporate education reform agenda.

FaithActs’ initial press conference was orchestrated by the new group’s spokesman, Bob Bellafiore.

As public education advocate Maria Pereira noted at the time, Bellafiore is the founder of Stanhope Partners, an Albany PR firm that works for the charter school industry.

Before setting up his own company, he served as a Vice President of National Heritage Academies, a for-profit charter chain that owns and operates 75 charter schools in nine states, making it the third largest for-profit charter school company in the United States.

Just last year, National Heritage Academies made national news when it was discovered that it was charging one of its’ Brooklyn charter schools $2.3 million in rent per year even though it was leasing the property for much less.

Meanwhile, back in Bridgeport, FaithActs for Education purports to be a, “grassroots organizing nonprofit based in Bridgeport, Connecticut. We exist to help faith leaders and their congregations step outside their place of worship to advocate for improved educational opportunities for their own children and the children of Bridgeport.”

The organization’s rhetoric goes on to say that, “created as a 501(c)3 Foundation,” FaithActs receives funding from various foundations and individuals, although, to date, it has failed to reveal which foundations or individuals are underwriting the organization’s lobbying and advocacy activities.

FaithActs for Education also shares an address with Educators 4 Excellence, another corporate funded advocacy group that claims to speak for teachers who are opposed to tenure and other collective bargaining rights.  (See Wait, What? Post Educators 4 Excellence – Because teachers NEED their own “Education Reform” front group)

But even if all of that wasn’t indicative enough of the power and inter-relationship of the corporate education reform industry, there is more….

According to the incorporation papers filed with the Secretary of the State’s Office, FaithActs for Education’s agent of service is its Executive Director, Jamilah Prince-Stewart.

However, rather than recording the organization’s actual physical office in Bridgeport for corporate related service issues, the official corporate filing lists the following;

FAITHACTS FOR EDUCATION,

C/O PUBLIC SQUARE PARTNERSHIP,

1730 COMMERCE DRIVE #706 SUITE C,

BRIDGEPORT, CT, 06605

Public Square Partnerships is a relatively new company whose agent of service is none-other-than Nate Snow, the Director of Teach for America’s Connecticut Chapter.  Snow also serves as President of Excel Bridgeport Inc., another Bridgeport based charter school advocacy group that had its own run-in with the Connecticut Ethics Commission when it failed to register with the Office of State Ethics despite the fact that it was lobbying state government in favor of Governor Malloy’s illegal takeover of the Bridgeport School System.

Excel Bridgeport, Inc., along with Steve Perry supporter, Reverend Kenneth Moales, were the biggest supporters of education reform guru Paul Vallas, Bridgeport’s inappropriately certified superintendent who was forced to leave after two years.  Vallas being best known for “charterizing” the Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans schools system before being recruited by Governor Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, to “save” Bridgeport.

Although based in Bridgeport, Public Square Partnership not only lists TFA Director Nate Snow as its agent, but they use Teach for America’s New Haven office address as their official agent of service.

According to their website, Public Square Partnerships “focuses its investments on innovative change efforts that have attained tangible results for children attending schools in high-need communities or that have the potential to do so for sustainable and scalable impact.”

The company adds, “We partner with education organizations that develop educators, schools, and engage parents and community members in creating high-quality schools.”

Public Square Partnerships further reports that in its first year of operation, the company had contracts to help five schools in Bridgeport and New Haven, three of which were public schools and two were charter schools.

Among its clients, we are told, are the new Booker T. Washington Charter School Academy in New Haven and the Great Oaks Charter School in Bridgeport.

While Nate Snow serves as the Agent of Service for Public Square Partnerships, the President and CEO of the company is Diane Robinson who has spent the last twenty years working for the massive KIPP Charter School chain and Teacher for America.

The company’s Chief Operating Officer most recently worked as a Deputy Chief Portfolio Officer with the New York City Department of Education and before that was with the Washington DC Public Schools system.

The company’s third employee comes to Connecticut via the large education reform industry consulting firm called Schoolworks.

While more and more of the pieces of the puzzle come into view, the one thing that is absolutely clear is that there are a whole lot of organizations, spending a whole lot of money to further Governor Malloy’s pro-charter school, anti-public school and anti-teacher education reform agenda.

Moales and Charter School Industry go down to crushing defeat in Bridgeport – Again

Despite the support of Governor Malloy’s political operatives, including Bridgeport Mayor Finch and the ConnCAN/Achievement First Inc. charter school industry, pro-charter school candidate Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. couldn’t even muster enough voters to impact yesterday’s Special Election for a seat in the Connecticut State Senate.

The infamous Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. came in a distant 3rd place in yesterday’s Special Election collecting only 503 votes compared to the winner, Working Families Party candidate and former state senator Ed Gomes, who received 1,504.  The Democratic Party endorsed candidate Richard DeJesus, who Finch initially supported before turning to Moales, garnered 791 voters.

According to the Working Families Party, Ed Gomes becomes the first candidate in the country to win a legislative seat running only on the Working Families Party line.

Kenneth Moales Jr. has been one of the most outspoken supporters of Governor Malloy’s Corporate Education Reform Industry initiatives.

Moales was not only a leading champion of education reformer extraordinaire Paul Vallas but has been a major proponent of Steve Perry’s plan to open a charter school in Bridgeport.

The Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. sits on the Board of Directors for Perry’s charter school and was a lone voice on the Bridgeport Board of Education when the democratically-elected board asked the Malloy administration NOT TO approve Perry’s charter school application.

However, Malloy’s Commissioner of Education and his political appointees on the State Board of Education overlooked the position taken by the Bridgeport Board of Education and last spring and approved Perry’s plan to open a privately-owned but publicly-funded charter school in Bridgeport.

Although Governor Malloy’s proposed state budget actually cuts funding for public schools in Connecticut, the governor’s plan adds funding for four new charter schools in the state, including Steve Perry’s charter and one in Bridgeport that will be owned by an out-of-state company.

Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. previously served as Mayor Bill Finch’s campaign treasurer and his loss yesterday marks the fourth time in a row that Bridgeport voters rejected Finch and the charter school industry agenda.

Finch is up for re-election this fall and opposition to granting him another term is gaining steam.

Hey Reverend Moales – Where is the missing money?

This coming Tuesday, Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. is hoping that the voters of the 23rd State Senate District will come out and make  him Connecticut’s newest State Senator in the Special Election.

However among the various clouds that hang over his head is the unanswered question of what happened to all the missing money.

Reverend Moales brags that he is a millionaire.

And maybe he is.

The member (and former chairman) of the Bridgeport Board of Education sends his children to some of the most elite and expensive private schools in Connecticut; Fairfield College Preparatory School, Fairfield Country Day School and Ridgefield Academy.

Together, the tuition for those three schools exceeds $90,000 a year.

At that rate, putting three, let alone four, kids through private school until college would cost in excess of $3.2 million.

But at the same time Moales hasn’t been paying his bills.

For example, he hasn’t been paying Foundation Capital Resources, the mortgage company that provided him with more than $7.3 million to build his Cathedral of the Holy Spirit.

Moales owes another $225,000 to Bridgeport’s now defunct The Community Bank and as much as $500,000 or more to a variety of vendors, as well as, to the City of Bridgeport and the State of Connecticut for back taxes.

Moales’ other troubles include being caught twice in the last few years driving two different unregistered automobiles that are “owned” by his Church, a Cadillac Escalade and a Mercedes Benz.

According to court records, Kenneth Moales borrowed more than $7 million from Foundation Capital Resources promising in return to build a multifaceted Cathedral and community center.

However what is sitting at 689 Union Avenue and called the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit is but a portion of what he promised to build according to the original mortgage documents and the present building has never been valued at more than $4.8 million.  It is presently assessed at only $3.4 million.

Moales once told the Connecticut Post that he was a pastor and a businessman, with degrees in both accounting and religion.  He said he also runs a financial consulting business.

Moales added, “Our church is very strong financially, we have seen an increase in our membership and a 40 percent increase in our revenue.”

A millionaire, who is head of a financially strong church that has enjoyed a 40 percent increase in revenue, wants voters to support him in Tuesday’s Special State Senate Election.

There is still time for the Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. to step forward and explain what happened to all the missing money and why he thinks it is appropriate to brag about his millions while he fails to pay his bills or follow the laws that apply to everyone else in our state.

Perhaps one of the local media outlets in Bridgeport would provide Mr. Moales with an opportunity to tell the truth about his financial affairs before Election Day.

Mayor Finch shifts to Reverend Moales in Bridgeport Special State Senate Election

Although the Bridgeport political operation connected with Governor Malloy and Mayor Bill Finch orchestrated the nomination of State Representative Richard DeJesus to run in the February 24th Special Election for the vacant State Senate seat in Bridgeport, the Mayor and his team are in the process of shifting sides and will now be focusing their collective efforts to elect the Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. to the Connecticut State Senate.

On Friday Mayor Bill Finch urged the nominee, Richard DeJesus, to drop out of the state Senate race.

In addition to DeJesus, who is the Democratic nominee in the race, the other major contenders are former State Senator Edwin Gomes, who is the Working Families Party candidate and former Board of Education Chairman Reverend Kenneth Moales, Jr. who is Finch’s former campaign treasurer.

Apparently Finch’s most recent political maneuver is due to the establishment’s growing concern that DeJesus has been damaged by the news that he owes at least $139,433 in personal property taxes and at least $35,700 in back child support.

But the Malloy/Finch operation was already covering their bets over the last few weeks, with Finch’s chief of staff and other key Finch allies providing donations to Moales so that he could qualify for a taxpayer funded campaign finance grant.

A review of Moales campaign finance report reveals that he has the full support of Connecticut’s Charter School Industry and many of the individuals and organizations that paid for the record-breaking lobbying campaign behind Malloy’s education reform agenda and Mayor Finch’s failed charter revision effort to do away with a democratically elected board of education in Bridgeport and replace it with one appointed by the mayor.

Over the past three years, Kenneth Moales Jr. has been one of the most outspoken supporters of Malloy’s corporate educate reform efforts.  Moales was also the head cheerleader for Paul Vallas and Moales serves on the Board of Directors for Steve Perry’s proposed charter school in Bridgeport.

In fact, while the Bridgeport Board of Education was taking the unprecedented step of asking Malloy’s Commissioner of Education and State Board of Education to reject Steve Perry’s application to open a charter school in Bridgeport, saying it was contrary to educational goals of the City of Bridgeport, Moales was busy supporting the application, all while serving on Perry’s charter school board.

The notion that it is DeJesus’ financial troubles that has scared off Finch and company is rather absurd considering the far more serious financial, legal and ethical problems surrounding Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr.

Although Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. claims to be a millionaire, he has been fighting off a series of lawsuits since 2011 for defaulting on about $8 million in loans that he took out to build his Bridgeport Church and renovate a home owned by his mother.

In September 2012, Reverend Moales caused a car accident in New Haven that injured the driver of the other car.  At the time of the accident Moales with driving an unregistered Mercedes Benz owned by his church.

A year later, in September 2013, an arrest warrant was issued for Reverend Moales for failure to appear for a ticket he had received for speeding and driving another unregistered vehicle, this time a Cadillac Escalade which was also owned by his church.

In response to a CT Post article about the arrest, Moales took to Twitter proclaiming,

“CT POST NEEDS readers! I must stay focused, Ignore the Critics & Solve The Real Problems! We are doing a good work & WE WILL NOT COME DOWN!!!”

Moales also owes more than $10,000 in local property taxes and allegedly owes back payroll taxes to the State of Connecticut as well.

Three daycare centers owned by the Moales family and that rent space from Moales’ church was caught double-billing for state funded daycare slots last year and forced to pay back approximately $70,000 in ill-gotten gains

The Moales family daycare centers also put dozens of children in rooms that didn’t meet fire code and didn’t have the required permits including a certificate of occupancy for the building itself.

And the list goes on…

And on…

But as incredible as it seems, Kenneth Moales Jr’s pattern of financial, legal and ethical neglect haven’t stopped Connecticut’s charter school industry from funding his campaign…A campaign that apparently now has the support of Mayor Bill Finch and the forces loyal to Governor Malloy.

You can find out more about this developing story at the Only in Bridgeport Blog – http://onlyinbridgeport.com/wordpress/icky-for-ricky-dejesus-says-hell-resign-city-council-seat-finch-tells-him-to-drop-state-senate-bid/ and the CT Post at http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/DeJesus-has-campaign-cash-but-also-troubles-6080248.php

Forces behind effort to eliminate democratically elected Bridgeport Board of Education donate to Kenneth Moales Jr.

Let’s hear it for less democracy!

Just days before the voters of Bridgeport overwhelmingly defeated Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch’s bizarre 2012 proposal to eliminate the democratically elected board of education in Bridgeport and replace it with one appointed by the Mayor, millionaire charter school champion Jonathan Sackler quietly wrote a personal check for $50,000 to help pay for the final set of mailings and advertisements designed to persuade Bridgeport voters to give up their right to vote for those who oversee their City’s public schools.

Now Jonathan Sackler and many of the same pro-charter, anti-public education, pro-corporate elite are pumping money into Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr.’s campaign for State Senate with the goal of helping Moales qualify for a taxpayer-funded state campaign grant that he would use to pay for his campaign in the February 24th 2015 state senate special election.

It won’t come as any surprise to those who have watched the ongoing effort to undermine and denigrate the people of Bridgeport that the very same individuals and groups that worked so hard to take away democracy in Bridgeport and keep Paul Vallas in charge of Bridgeport’s schools are now working overtime to put Moales – a Malloy/Finch ally and disgraced former chairman of the Bridgeport Board of Education – into the Connecticut State Senate.

The corporate elite, education reform industry and charter school advocates know that Kenneth Moales Jr. will be a safe vote for their anti-public education agenda, even if it means hurting the people of Bridgeport.

Jonathan Sackler, whose pharmaceutical company makes OxyContin, is a founding member of Achievement First, Inc., the large Charter School Management Company with schools in New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island.  Sacker is also the corporate education reform industry advocate who formed ConnCAN, the charter school advocacy group.  Sackler was one of the largest donors to Finch’s anti-democracy effort and now he tops the list for Moales as well.

Another key player for Moales is Andy Boas, the Chairman of the Board for Achievement First – Bridgeport, a member of the ConnCAN Board of Directors and the founder of The Charter Oak Challenge Foundation.  In 2012 Boa was also one of the largest contributors to Finch’s campaign to do away with an elected school board in Bridgeport.

And now Boas and his wife, like Sacker and his wife, have both donated the maximum amount to Moales’ campaign.

In total, more than half a dozen of Moales’ largest campaign contributions have come from members of the Achievement First, Inc. or ConnCAN Boards of Directors.

Yet another major player in Finch’s failed charter revision effort was Excel Bridgeport, Inc. the corporate funded education reform group that lobbied for the illegal state takeover of Bridgeport’s schools and then dumped more than $101,000 to support of Finch’s charter revision effort to do away with a democratically elected board of education.  Excel Bridgeport’s founder, Megan Lowney, who is also one of Malloy’s political appointees, recently gave Moales the maximum donation allowed under law.

Others who helped pay for Finch’s failed anti-democracy campaign and are now stepping up with donations for Moales’ campaign include;

Paul Vallas and his wife (now re-located back to Illinois)

Robert Trefrey

Trefrey is the former President/CEO of Bridgeport Hospital.  Trefrey chaired the illegal board that was handed control of Bridgeport’s schools by Governor Malloy’s administration.  When the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that Malloy’s attempt to take over the Bridgeport Schools was illegal, Malloy appointed Trefrey to the State Board of Education’s Committee that oversees the state’s technical high schools.  Bridgeport Hospital gave Finch’s charter revision campaign the maximum allowable donation, even at a time it was laying off staff.  Trefrey has not given Moales the maximum allowable contribution.

Jeremiah Grace

Grace is the Connecticut State Director of the Northeast Charter School Network.  The organization not only lobbies for more charter schools but helps private charter school management companies develop applications to get public funds.

Lee Bollert

Bollert was an education advisor to Mayor Bill Finch and helped create Excel Bridgeport, Inc.

William McCullough

McCullough serves with Moales on the Board of Directors of Steve Perry’s proposed Bridgeport charter school.

Kadisha Coates 

Coates is a charter school advocate, member of Families for Excellent Schools and is the newest member of the Bridgeport Board of Education. Coates and her husband are both donors to Moales.

Liz Torres

Torres is a member of the Great Oaks Charter School Board of Directors.

Joshua Thompson

Thompson is the former Finch aide and Vallas assistant who posted on his on-line resume that he was the Deputy Mayor for Education in Bridgeport, even though he was no such thing. Thomson is now an executive New Leaders Fund, a corporate education reform advocacy group in New York City.  Brandon Clark, who ran on the Finch slate for Board of Education with Moales in 2013 but lost, also works with the New Leaders Fund with Thompson and also recently donated to Moales’ campaign.

Other Moales donors include a number of employees, lobbyists and consultants associated with ConnCAN, Achievement First, Inc. and other charter schools organizations in Hartford, New Haven and out-of state.

In order to get the full taxpayer funded grant of Moales has filed the paperwork to get a state taxpayer funded grant.  In order to get the money he must raise a total of $11,250, of which 225 must come from people living in Bridgeport or Stratford.  Depending on the number of signatures collected, Moales could receive a public grant of up to $71,000

Although Moales submitted the paperwork to get a grant last Friday, a review of his public financing report reveals a variety of problems and suspicious donations that could prevent him from qualifying for the public funding.

Note:  A special thanks to Maria Pereira who also researched Moales’ recent campaign finance report and provided her findings to the “Only in Bridgeport” blog.

Bridgeport’s Kenneth Moales Jr. – The man who refuses to take responsibility for his actions

The Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. wants to represent Bridgeport in the Connecticut State Senate.  As a key ally of Governor Dannel Malloy and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, Moales is counting on the Democratic machine to help him get elected in the February 24, 2015 Special Election.

And Malloy, who remains committed to pushing his corporate education reform industry agenda, could certainly use another pro-charter school supporter in the State Senate.

But Kenneth Moales Jr. actions continue to speak louder than his words.

As Moales as shown over and over again, he is a man who simply refuses to take responsibility for his actions.

Not long ago, Kenneth Moales was arrested for failure to appear in court on a charge that he was driving an unregistered automobile owned by Moales’ church. (See: Kenneth H. Moales… You are wanted by the Connecticut State Police (Literally) 10/21/13, Bridgeport’s Kenneth H. Moales Jr. served with arrest warrant 10/22/13,  Kenneth Moales Jr. arrested… 10/23/13)

And now comes yet another stunning example of Moales’ inability or unwillingness to follow the law or act responsibly

In September 2012, Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. was driving one of the Mercedes Benz owned by his church along Dixwell Avenue in New Haven.  When attempting to make an illegal U-turn without signaling or giving the right of way to traffic, Moales caused a car accident.

The victim of the accident eventually filed a lawsuit (Case #NNH-CV14-6050018-S) against Moales and his church for the damage and harm that resulted from Moales’ action.

The accident report produced by the New Have police department placed the blame squarely on Moales noting;

“Upon investigation I found operator #1 [Kenneth Moales Jr.] at fault for the accident.  He was given a verbal warning for 14-243(e), Failure of driver making a left turn to grant rights to way to oncoming traffic, 14-12a Operating an unregistered motor vehicle.” (Police Case # 12-47695)

But rather than face up to his responsibility for causing the accident, the Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. tried lamely to have the lawsuit dismissed by claiming that he was not properly served with the writ, summons and complaint because it was sent to his mother’s house and not his.

In his sworn affidavit signed on November 11, 2014, Kenneth Moales Jr. claimed that he was “not personally served with a write, summons or complaint.”   With that claim in hand, his lawyer moved to have the case dismissed on November 21, 2014.

But the unsettling fact is that neither Moales or his attorney revealed to the Connecticut Court that the certified letters containing the information were, in fact, accepted on August 19, 2014 by someone who printed and signed the name Kenneth Moales Jr. or that the secretary of the Prayer Tabernacle Church of Love, Inc. received and signed a companion certified letter on the very same day.

Instead of stepping up and facing the charges against him, Reverend Kenneth Moales, Jr actually filed a sworn statement claiming, “that that Court lacks personal jurisdiction over him as service of process was insufficient in that he was not personally served with the write, summons and complaint…”

When copies of the signed certified return forms were filed with the Court by the State Marshal, the lawsuit was allowed to go forward.

However just this week the accident victim was forced to seek an extension of time to respond to all of the interrogatories and request for production that Moales and his lawyer dumped on the accident victim once the case was allowed to proceed.

The Democratic Machine has already intervened to prevent former State Senator Ed Gomes from getting the Democratic nomination in Bridgeport’s Special Election.  The question now is how far Malloy, Finch and others will go to help put the Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. in the Connecticut State Senate.

Any support that Malloy, Finch or others, including Connecticut’s charter school and corporate education reform advocates provide to Moales will be quite a commentary.

The millionaire candidate who won’t pay his taxes or debts…

On July 17, 2013, when faced with a set of foreclosure proceedings against his church, The Prayer Tabernacle Church of Love, totaling at least $8 million, the Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr., a key ally of Governor Dannel Malloy, Campaign Treasurer for Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch and Chairman of the Bridgeport Board of Education, blithely dismissed the information telling the Connecticut Post,,

“My dad left me a millionaire, I’m fine, we’re fine, we don’t have any financial problems…we are having a banking issue.”

Eighteen months later, Kenneth Moales, Jr is now running in a special election in Bridgeport to fill a vacant seat in the Connecticut State Senate and his financial problems have continued to grow.

The latest news arrived via the “Only in Bridgeport” blog which reported, “Moales’ Daycare Facility Owes $10,000 in Back Taxes.  [Also see: In the news again – Steve Perry’s point man in Bridgeport – The Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr.]

The day care centers owned by Moales’ family already owed back taxes in the summer of 2013, but the number has grown, despite the fact that the daycare centers have collected in excess of $5 million in taxpayer funds from the State of Connecticut.

In addition to the back taxes, various loans that Moales took out to build his church and renovate his mother’s house remain unpaid.  Foundation Capital Resources, a company that lends money primarily to churches is owed at least $7.3 million dollars and there is still the unpaid loan to the now defunct Community Bank of Bridgeport.  A number of vendors have also filed suit against Moales and his church claiming that they were not paid for work that they completed.

Kenneth Moales’ church owns 10 properties in Bridgeport including church buildings, some of which house his three daycare centers, and homes, including the house that Moales resides in.

When asked by the Connecticut Post in July 2013 about why Moales and the church had defaulted on their loans and failed to pay vendors, Moales retorted,

“Our church is very strong financially,” he said. “We have seen an increase in our membership (now more than 1,000) and a 40 percent increase in our revenue. I’m sure no other church in the city can say that.”

A defiant Moales told the Connecticut Post, “Our church will not lose a mailbox — never mind a piece of property in Bridgeport.”

And while families across Bridgeport and Connecticut continue to struggle financially with many losing their homes as a result of the Great Recession, Kenneth Moales Jr. seems to be blessed with the political cover to do as he likes.

And what Moales wants now is a seat in the Connecticut State Senate where he can continue his work on behalf of the charter school industry and the corporate education reform movement, all despite the fact that he sent his children to expensive private schools.

With the special election only twenty days away, be sure to check back for more about this “interesting” race for office.  You can also find more at the Only in Bridgeport Blog and the Connecticut Post.

In the news again – Steve Perry’s point man in Bridgeport – The Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr.

The Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. is running for the Connecticut State Senate in a special election to be held on February 24 2015.  Moales is one of three candidates seeking to fill the open seat in Bridgeport.

Not only is Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. the notorious ally of Governor Dannel Malloy and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, but Moales is the leading member of the “Governing Council” of Steve Perry’s proposed Harbor Prep Capital Charter School, the charter school that Malloy’s Commissioner of Education and political appointees on the State Board of Education jammed through despite the fact that there is no funding in the state budget for Perry’s growing aspirations to  open a “boutique” Charter School Management Company.

Kenneth Moales Jr. was also a leading force on the illegal State Oversight Board that was appointed by the Malloy administration when the State of Connecticut illegally took over the Bridgeport School System.

Following the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision to restore the rule of law and the notion of democracy by returning Bridgeport’s Schools to an elected Board, Moales got onto the new elected Board of Education thanks to the help of Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch.  [Moales had served as Finch’s campaign treasurer in his run for mayor].

As a member of the elected Board, including a stint has its chairman; Moales continued to serve as Education Reform Guru Paul Vallas’ biggest cheerleader.

Moales also used his time on the Board to garner a $1 million, no-competitive bid contact, to expand his family’s state-funded daycare centers – daycare centers that rent space from the very church that Moales owns and operates.

The list of three day care centers included one – the largest – that was housed in a building that never had a certificate of occupancy or even met fire code.

The very same church that owns Moales’ house, and at last check, his Cadillac Escalade and a couple of Mercedes Benz sedans…

The very same church that has been facing foreclosure proceedings for over a year…

And now it turns out that Moales hasn’t even being paying his property taxes to the City of Bridgeport going all the way back to 2007.

The latest chapter in this charade comes via a breaking story on the “Only in Bridgeport” Blog entitled, “Moales’ Day Care Facility Owes $10,000 in Back Taxes, Joins DeJesus For Arrearage Battle,”

As the Only in Bridgeport Blog reports,

The campaign of State Senate candidate Ken Moales says they welcome the support of political activists turned off by the $140,000 that Democratic-endorsed Richard DeJesus owes in personal property taxes on businesses, as well as his child support issues. Kingdom’s Little Ones Daycare for which Moales serves as chief executive officer owes $10,000 in personal property taxes going back to 2007, according to city tax records.

[…]

Moales, a member of the school board, has been a lightning rod in city politics in recent years, particularly when he served as head of the Board of Education. He served as Bill Finch’s campaign treasurer for Finch’s first two runs for mayor. But then tax and foreclosure issues about Moales surfaced. He no longer serves as Finch’s campaign treasurer as the mayor seeks a third four-year term this year.

City tax records show past-due personal property taxes for Kingdom’s Little Ones Daycare going back to 2007 and rising.

For more go to: http://onlyinbridgeport.com/wordpress/moales-day-care-facility-owes-10000-in-back-taxes-joins-dejesus-for-arrearage-battle/#more-68595

For lots, lots more on Moales and his inappropriate, often illegal antics, just search his name here on the Wait, What? Blog.

NEWS FLASH:   Malloy + Finch ally – Rev. Kenneth Moales to run for state senate?

Rev. Kenneth Moales Jr. is known for a lot of things — charter school champion, Dannel Malloy cheerleader, Paul Vallas defender, Mayor Bill Finch’s former campaign treasurer, bully, tax cheat, law breaker and the list goes on and on.

Well, now comes that news that Rev. Kenneth Moales Jr. may be running for the vacant State Senate seat in Bridgeport.

Fellow blogger Lennie Grimaldi, who whose blog is appropriately called, “Only in Bridgeport,” is reporting that,

Radioactive Board of Education member the Rev. Ken Moales is contemplating a run in the State Senate special election to fill the seat vacated by Andres Ayala, the new commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles. Tuesday night a collection of political leaders, neighborhood activists and clergy gathered in the Holiday Inn Downtown to hear from prospective candidates.”

Moales, who could not attend, sent his wife to spread the news that he might soon become a candidate for the Connecticut State Senate.

Attending the event were prospective candidates State Senator Ed Gomes, former State Representative Don Clemons, local Sierra Club organizer Onte Johnson and 2003 mayoral candidate Carl Horton.  Apparently Rev. Kenneth Moales’ wife, Eda, attended to explain that her husband was “planning to run for the  seat.”

Moales is nothing short of infamous for his role in helping the Malloy administration after they illegally took over the Bridgeport Schools, for his unending support for Corporate Education Reform Industry Kingpin, Paul Vallas, for his ability to acquire a multi-million dollar early education contract from the Malloy administration while serving on the Bridgeport Board of Education, for having illegally put dozens of little children in his daycare centers despite the fact that the building did not meet fire code or have certificates of occupancy and for his long-standing support of charter schools.

Most recently, Moales’ charter school advocacy took the form of leading a local group in support of Capital Prep Steve Perry’s successful effort to get Malloy’s Commissioner of Education and the State Board of Education to approve a charter school for Perry’s private company despite the $1.4 billion deficit facing the State of Connecticut.

Long time Wait, What? readers will recall some or all of the following blogs:

Will Bridgeport learn from the Michael Sharpe and Jumoke/FUSE disaster?(6/23/14)

Will politics prevent justice from being served – the Kenneth Moales Story Continues (6/8/14)

And from Bridgeport – Even more serious questions about the Moales daycare center (5/29/14)

Meanwhile in Bridgeport…  More state funds to Moales’ Kingdom Little Ones in Christ Inc. (5/12/14)

And the scandal surrounding Moales, Finch, Vallas, Pryor and Malloy grows. (5/10/14)

State agency determines Malloy ally Rev. Kenneth Moales overcharged state by at least $75,000 for day care slots (5/9/14)

Will State Board of Education over look conflicts of interest to approve more charter schools (3/31/14)

Malloy’s proposed budget underfunds public magnet schools while increasing money for charter schools (3/29/14)

Look out Bridgeport, here comes Capital Prep Principal Steve Perry (3/13/14)

The Malloy/Pryor Jumoke Charter School Gravy Train (3/10/14)

No real financial support for public schools, but plenty more for charter schools (especially Bridgeport) (2/20/14)

Who is pushing Capital Prep Steve Perry’s Capital Prep Harbor Charter School application? (2/9/14)

 

2013

Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. – Mayor Bill Finch’s campaign treasurer is classless to the end (12/9/13)

Bridgeport (and Connecticut) has a right to expect better (10/25/13)

And speaking of Bridgeport, Former Judge Carmen Lopez’s letter on the upcoming election (10/25/13)

Kenneth Moales Jr. arrested…  (10/23/13)

Bridgeport’s Kenneth H. Moales Jr. served with arrest warrant (10/22/13)

Kenneth H. Moales… You are wanted by the Connecticut State Police (Literally) (10/21/13)

Playing politics with his religion and religion with his politics – The Kenneth Moales Jr. story (10/10/13)

Bridgeport Community Bank that Bridgeport’s BOE Chair Kenneth Moales Jr won’t pay back goes under (9/14/13)

Kenneth Moales Jr. and his Certificate of Occupancy Service and Party (7/28/13)

Bridgeport’s Kenneth Moales Jr. goes off the deep end; passes out flyer attacking CT Post and their lead reporter (7/24/13)

Divine intervention in Bridgeport…. (7/23/13)

We don’t need no stinkin Certificate of Occupancy…. Laws don’t apply to Rev. Moales (7/23/13)

As Bridgeport leaders spin out of control… (7/17/13)

And massive foreclosure lawsuit against Kenneth Moales Jr. and his Prayer Tabernacle Church of Love, Inc. officially filed (7/12/13)

News Update: More on financial problems facing Bridgeport Board of Ed. Chair Kenneth Moales, Jr. and his church (6/26/13)

Update: Moales Empire Collapsing, foreclosure to take his state funded childcare sites, churches and apparently his residence. (6/21/13)

Moales Empire Collapsing, Moales’ state funded childcare sites being foreclosed on (6/20/13)

The push back against Malloy, Pryor, Vallas and Moales grows (6/12/13)

$1 million in public funds for Bridgeport BOE Chair’s family – without a vote (5/16/13)

Wait, What? Bridgeport Board of Education scheduled to approve $1 million for Moales Daycare facilities despite foreclosure threat (5/13/13)

Is Bridgeport Board of Education Chairman Kenneth Moales, Jr.’s financial empire collapsing? 4/30/13)

The Bylaws of the Bridgeport Board of Education: Policy 9270: Conflict of Interest (4/19/13)

And in Bridgeport, the winner is Finch’s Campaign Treasurer, Kenneth Moales, Jr. (3/26/13)

Rev. Moales; It’s called the Freedom of Information Act and it even applies to you… (3/21/13)

Silence from Finch as his campaign treasurer embarrasses himself and his allies (3/28/13)

It gets worse…. (3/4/13)

2012

Did that Democrat say he is for school vouchers?  (8/12/14)

NEWS FLASH: “It is not a conflict” says Malloy school board appointee whose family “wins” half a million dollar contract. (7/24/12)

And the list goes on and on and on…

Check back soon for more on this breaking story….

You can read more at the “Only in Bridgeport” blog: http://onlyinbridgeport.com/wordpress/moales-take-my-wife-please-the-rev-a-candidate-for-state-senate/#more-67512

 

Will politics prevent justice from being served – the Kenneth Moales Story Continues

The controversy surrounding Reverend Kenneth Moales, Jr. expands even further

Documents on file with the Connecticut Superior Court and the City of Bridgeport reveal that while Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. and his family collected more than $8 million dollars from a Midwestern mortgage company that specializes in providing construction loans to evangelical and other churches, the building that Moales built was only a fraction of what was required in the loan agreement and corresponding documents.

Where the rest of the construction money went raises even more questions about Moales’ financial operations.

As Wait, What? readers know, thanks, in part, to the Malloy administration and the administration of Mayor Bill Finch, Reverend Kenneth Moales. Jr and his family are now pulling in close to $1 million a year in state-funded daycare subsidies.

Just last August, the Moales family received their third daycare license from Malloy’s Department of Public Health despite the fact that the building in which the daycare center is housed does not have a permanent certificate of occupancy or the appropriate zoning approvals, both of which are required to get a state daycare license.  The same building also houses Moales’ private kindergarten through 8th grade church-owned religious elementary school.

As background for newer Wait What? readers, Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. was appointed by Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy’s administration to serve on the appointed board that illegally took control of the Bridgeport School system.

After the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled the state’s action was illegal, Moales won a seat on the democratically-elected board of education as a member of Bill Finch’s endorsed slate.  Moales eventually was named Chairman of the Bridgeport Board of Education and although he lost that position after the last election, he remains a current member of the board.

As a member of the illegal board and then the democratically-elected board, Kenneth Moales Jr. served as corporate education reform guru Paul Vallas’ staunchest supporter.  Moales also served as Governor Malloy and Mayor Finch’s point person in the ongoing effort to privatize Bridgeport’s Schools.

Most recently Kenneth Moales Jr. showed up as the biggest champion for Capital Prep Principal Steve Perry’s attempt to open a charter school in Bridgeport, a proposal that was inappropriately rushed through the approval process by Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, with the support of Malloy’s appointees to the State Board of Education.

While Moales has had an amazing ride the past couple of years, the bigger question is whether Malloy, Finch and Moales’ other political allies will be able to help Moales with his financial problems including a lawsuit seeking to foreclose on Moales’ church and its properties, including the buildings that house the three daycare centers, the church school and his own residence.

But separate of the foreclosure lawsuit is the fact that Moales and his family improperly billed for their daycare services.

Although the Bridgeport Board of Education was never informed of the problem, when Moales was Chairman of the Board of Education, the family’s daycare centers were caught double billing Bridgeport’s Board of Education and the Connecticut State Department of Education to the tune of $75,000 over a 4 month period in 2013.  While the State Department of Education had docked the Bridgeport Board of Education for the funds, it is not clear whether the Board of Education has made an attempt to force Moales to pay back all of the money.

But Moales’ problems are much bigger than billing $75,000 he didn’t have a right to receive.  They are even bigger than the questions surrounding how he managed to get a third daycare center license and how that facility is still open when it doesn’t have the proper inspections and zoning approvals.

Moales’ biggest problems are related to the $8 million mortgage that the Moales family received to build their church and the foreclosure effort that is now underway to take all of his properties for failing to pay back that mortgage.

A series of official documents make clear that in early 2006, Kenneth Moales Sr. filed an application to build a “new church facility” that required several waivers and special-permit approval from the City of Bridgeport.

On April 10, 2006, the Connecticut Post reported that the Moales’ church would be a two phase project. Phase I would incorporate a sanctuary and Phase II would incorporate a 500 seat hall, bowling alley, swimming pool, basketball court and classrooms.

In April 2006, the Zoning Board of Appeals approved the application with four conditions which included that “All construction shall be in strict accord with plans submitted.”

In May 2006, the Planning and Zoning Commission approved the application for a Special Permit “for the establishment of a House of Worship.”  The Special Permit approval expired on May 29, 2007. Neither application referenced the establishment of a daycare or a school.

The Building Permit was issued on November 20, 2007, well after the Special Permit expiration of May 29, 2007. The application clearly states that the project was for the construction of a church or selected other uses, but fails to make any reference to a separate permit that would be needed to construct a school or other “Educational 12th Grade or less” building.

In December 2007, Foundation Capital Resources, Inc., the Midwestern mortgage company, approved a first mortgage for $6.1 million. In December 2008, it approved a second mortgage for $1.2 million and in September 2009 approved a third loan for $850,000.

The records indicate that in early 2008, the construction on the new church began and it was apparently completed in late 2010.

The new church opened in early 2011 without ever receiving a Certificate of Occupancy as required by law.

In September 2011, the Connecticut Post ran a story on the ribbon cutting ceremony of the K-8 school.  Apparently, as a result of that news story, the Bridgeport Fire Marshal learned of the existence of the school and went to conduct a full inspection.

On September 22, 2011, the inspector wrote, “This building has not completed its CO inspection but is being occupied as an assembly (church) and a school.”

Upon contacting the Zoning Office, the inspector was informed that the school is permitted with a special permit from Planning and Zoning. The only problem is an application for a Special Permit to operate a “school” was never submitted to Planning Zoning; therefore, a Special Permit was never approved or issued.

But putting aside the inspection and approval issues, there is the extraordinary revelation that although the mortgage company provided Moales with all of the construction loan funds, most of “Phase II” of the project was never built. This includes the hall, bowling alley, basketball court and an entire wing of classrooms.

Although the documents lay out the details surrounding the construction of the new church, they provide no information as to why the mortgage company would approve disbursements on the loans when the building project did not adhere to the construction documents nor do they explain what happened to the millions of dollars that were intended for the Phase II construction of the church but apparently used for something else.

If justice is to be served, independent investigations are needed now more than ever.