District sues, accuses CEO of using charter school funds to make his company rich

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP/WJLA) - D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan is accusing the founder of one of the oldest and largest charter school networks in the city of funneling millions of school funds to a for-profit management company owned by the school founder.

Nathan filed a legal complaint Monday against Kent Amos, who founded Dorothy I. Height Community Academy Public Charter School, and runs the for-profit company Community Action Partners and Charter School Management LLC (CAPSCM).

Dorothy Height serves more than 1,600 students at four campuses, and an online school.

An attorney for Amos denies the allegations.

The Office of the Attorney General's (OAG) complaint alleges that "the diverted funds were used to enrich the company and Amos, to the detriment of the school."

According to the complaint, the company received millions of dollars in fees for work that could have been performed or was performed by employees of the school.

The OAG alleges that CAPSCM and Amos has forced the school to pay CAPSCM more than $13 million in so-called "management fees" since 2004, including approximately $4.4 million over the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years, when CAPSCM's purported management work was largely performed by employees of the school.

The lawsuit also charges that Amos and the management company "are on track to receive about another $2 million" for the current school year for work that could be performed by school employees.

The OAG seeks to stop any future payments from the school to CAPSCM or Amos, to obtain a constructive trust over school funds improperly distributed to CAPSCM or Amos, and to rescind the current management contract, "among other equitable remedies."

"We will fight manipulation and abuse of the charter school system that cheats the district and federal taxpayers," Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan said in a statement.

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