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Options Public Charter School Managers Accused Of $3M In Graft

District officials have filed a lawsuit against the managers of Options Public Charter School. Those managers are accused of diverting more than $3 million in taxpayer funds to themselves and two for-profit companies they founded while running the school.

The lawsuit alleges three of the school's former managers — Donna Montgomery, David Cranford and Paul Dalton — used the school as a "cash generating machine" by funneling money to their two companies and benefitting from a "pattern of self-dealing."

The school enrolls approximately 400 at-risk middle and high school students.

The District alleges Options Public charter school also paid bonuses to the three managers that were "unreasonable and inconsistent with the school's non-profit purpose." For example, according to the suit, Montgomery made more than $425,000 in public funds in one year, "more than the President of the United States and more than twice the salary of the Mayor of District of Columbia".

The District wants to freeze some manager's assets and also wants the school to be placed in receivership.

The lawsuit also names J.C. Hayward in the complaint for signing off on these agreements. She's the former chair of the school's board of trustees and a WUSA 9 anchor.

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