Does the School District of Indian River County, FL Still Have a Finance Department?


If you have been following the drama about School District CEO Carter Morrison and Superintendent Dr. Mark Rendell, here is some more.

First, a brief recap:

  1. On July 31, 2018, a letter was hand delivered to Carter Morrison, School District CFO Superintendent Mark J. Rendell, Ed.D., in which Mr. Morrison was “relieved of your duties.”
  2. The School District engaged a firm for $ 50,000 to conduct an investigationof Mr. Morrison’s wrongdoings. “…to provide legal services to and behalf of Dr. Mark J. Rendell…,” which were paid for by the SDIRC.
  3. In a letter hand delivered to Mr. Morrison on November 15, 2018 from Dr. Rendell, Dr. Rendell wrote that “because of your breach of mine and the District’s trust and poor financial judgement, I find it necessary to recommend your transfer to the position of Transportation Coordinator.”
  4. The transfer of Mr. Morrison was included in the “Consent Agenda” at the November School Board meeting. This was the first meeting for three new School Board members who had only received the investigative report an hour earlier.
  5. The new School Board members blocked Mr. Morrison’s transfer as a consent item and voted to have it withdrawn from the Consent Agenda and placed on the December 11 meeting as an “Action Item” for discussion.

Now, to more of the drama:

Right before the School Board meeting on the 11th Morrison’s transfer was removed from the agenda entirely and Dr. Rendell indicated Mr. Morrison had been reinstated to his prior position as CFO and that he was to report to work on December 13.

Dr. Rendell indicated it was “in the best interest of the School District.” The Board appeared to agree but without any other clarification or transparency of what occurred between Rendell and Morrison.

On December 12, the day after the Board meeting, and the day before he was to return to work, Mr. Morrison resigned, along with Julianne Pelletier, Director of Finance.

On December 13, the School District posted openings for Mr. Morrison and Ms. Pelletier’s prior positions.


Additionally, the District’s Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, who was hired only a few months has resigned.

Does the School District have a Finance Department for their $ 291 million budget?

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4 thoughts on “Does the School District of Indian River County, FL Still Have a Finance Department?

  1. Pingback: Merchon Green: Lots of Mysteries at the Highest Levels of the School District of Indian River County, FL. | Vero Communiqué

  2. This new school board needs to take a good look at the previous actions of the last, and make some vastly different changes to this school district administration!
    What is going on over there? Regardless of how much Dr. Rendell may think he knows about Finance, it is abundantly clear from the last few months board meetings and premature need to borrow money, he is no expert on the matter. His vendetta against Morrison has hurt the district, and clear, concise action needs to take place.
    Taxpayers elected new board members because they expected more from these people. We hope they do not continue to disappoint, like the majority of the previous one.

  3. It is clear from the paperwork and so-called “Investigation” even though it was biased against Mr. Morrison, and geared towards finding fault with him rather than seeking the truth, that all of this COULD have been avoided and SHOULD have been avoided by simply going to the Board and telling them the truth in the beginning. How much dollars have been completely wasted on legal fees and auditors in an attempt to pin something on Morrison when there was nothing there to pin on him to begin with? And why did the previous board allow the Supt to investigate the incident himself when he too was involved?
    This new board needs some serious clean up and first order of work here is replacing Rendell for gross negligence and not being forthcoming with the board. Second order of the day should be finding in-house or local counsel that works for the BOARD and no one else.

  4. Have you seen the latest Indian River County School District board agenda?
    You should take a CLOSER look!
    Some very interesting items of note are:
    The Position Control Specialist who was instrumental in throwing Carter Morrison under the bus with Rendell and had been slated for a huge salary increase on a previous agenda (before it was pulled), is now BACK ON THE AGENDA. This time Rendell is trying to pass it off by calling the position “Dir of Employee & Labor Relations”. He is deleting the Asst Supt of HR, distributing the work load of that Asst Supt among the three Asst Supt’s in order to give the person who helped him get rid of Morrison a big promotion. SDIRC doesn’t even have an Asst Supt of Finance (not have they had one since Morrison was wrongfully accused) and Finance is in shambles yet this position is already being given ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITY so that the Position Control Specialist can be rewarded for covering Rendell’s butt. Nice.
    If you look at page 97 of the board agenda for 1/15/19, you see what a shambles Rendell has made of Finance since he wrongly accused Morrison. 2.5% fund balance when SDIRC is supposed to maintain a minimum of 5%. This is the very thing that Morrison was trying to tell the board when Rendell framed him and sent him home.
    Had it not been for the Finance Director making the board aware of the Transportation Dept over stating riders (AGAIN) by $1.2mil, I suppose they’d still be in the dark about that too.
    Will this board be like the last and rubber stamp these job descriptions and the “new” organizational chart from Rendell? Or will they do the right thing and replace Rendell?
    Whatever they do, it needs to be done quickly before the state steps in and takes over. Rendell has run up so much in legal fees trying to frame Morrison, he’s failed miserably at his true job functions. His “legal counsel” D’Agresta must be examined as well because to allow this to go on without advising the BOARD is inexcusable and grounds for termination.

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