MCEC Business Manager Said Federal Audit “Favorable” Week Before State Canceled Contract
KELO-TV reported last night that Scott Westerhuis, the Platte man whom Attorney General Marty Jackley has said killed his wife and four children, set his house ablaze, and killed himself last week, owned a very expensive rural home:
Before the Westerhuis home went up in flames nearly a week ago, it was very impressive. The $1.3 million rural Platte property included a 7,600 square foot house. There is also a $900,000 gym that KELOLAND News is told has a basketball court; weight lifting area; computers; and a loft with rooms for guests, a meeting room and kitchen [Angela Kennecke, “Westerhuis $1.3M Property And Non-Profits That Took Grant Money,” KELO-TV, 2015.09.23].
Kennecke’s text is unclear, but it would seem the $900K gym complex is value in addition to the $1.3M. (Play with this building calculator, see what you can spend on a 7,600-square-foot house.)
Scott Westerhuis was business manager for Mid-Central Educational Cooperative in Platte. The most recent MCEC board minutes, from September 10, show that Westerhuis’s MCEC salary was $66,866.98. His wife Nicole Westerhuis was also drawing an MCEC salary, $63,682.84. Their combined salary was $130,549.82.
I plug $130,549.82 into the Zillow mortgage calculator, spot them a $100K down payment, and learn that Zillow says the Westerhuises could afford a $786,813 house. Obviously, there was other income involved in building the rural complex pictured above.
By the way, at that last MCEC meeting, Scott Westerhuis reported to the board that (in the words of the minutes) “the Federal auditors have reviewed the findings from the Legislative Audit of Gear Up, and the results are favorable.” The board took no action.
Six days later, the state Department of Education canceled MCEC’s contract to handle the $4.3-million federal GEAR UP grant. In the wee hours of the next day, a shotgun ended the Westerhuises’ lives and a fire destroyed their luxurious house.