Mid-Central Educational Cooperative business manager Scott Westerhuis incorporated two non-profits to handle the federal GEAR UP grant the Department of Education contracted down to MCEC, allowing him to keep his hands on that money at multiple points.
According to Angela Kennecke, it appears that found another way to write himself an additional paycheck out of money intended to help Indian kids get to college:
We discovered shortly after the murders and suicide in Platte, Scott Westerhuis and his wife, Nicole, were also managing funds for the American Institute for Indian Innovation, the foundation that got GEAR UP money to run the programs.
That’s at the same time Scott Westerhuis was also business manager for Mid Central.
We got the initial federal grant application from the state, which showed that the state knew about this conflict of interest because Scott Westerhuis signed the documents for AIII in the application.
We’ve confirmed that Scott Westerhuis was also the Budget Specialist for the GEAR UP grant itself, a paid position under the grant [Angela Kennecke, “Paperwork Reveals GEAR UP Grant Conflict of Interest,” KELO-TV, 2015.11.09].
Westerhuis used his position at MCEC to collect checks in direct violation, Kennecke notes, of MCEC’s own conflict-of-interest policy:
Employees of the Board will not engage in nor have a financial interest, directly or indirectly, in any activity that conflicts (or raises a reasonable question of conflict) with their duties and responsibilities in the Mid-Central Educational Cooperative system [Mid-Central Educational Cooperative, Board Policy Book, File GBCA, adopted 2006.10.12].
Speculation over the gruesome shooting deaths and fire on the Westerhuis property on September 17 has hinted that Scott wouldn’t have done such a thing, that mysterious third parties must have come to rub out Scott and his family and destroy the evidence of their malfeasance. However, the evidence available so far indicates that Scott Westerhuis had plenty to hide and plenty to despair over the state’s cutting off the gravy train he’d devised for himself.