On March 15, 2019 we published an article reporting that as of March 11, 2019, the School District of Indian River County (SDIRC) had received no Allen Norton Blue (ANB) invoices “. . . for which the School Board of Indian River County, Florida, retained you to provide legal services to and on behalf of Dr. Mark J. Rendell . . . to provide legal advice and counsel to the Superintendent and investigate an incident involving Mr. Carter Morrison, the CFO of the District.”
The engagement letter was dated August 1, 2018. SDIRC’s outside Orlando FL attorney Suzanne D’Agresta, Esq. of the firm Garganese, Weiss & D’Agresta, engaged Wayne L. Helsby, Esq., of ANB, located in Coral Gables.
After a four-month investigation, ANB cleared Dr. Rendell of any wrongdoing and only cited Mr. Morrison for “very poor judgement but a breach of trust.”
Their investigation report was completed on November 9, 2018 and released as public record on November 26, 2018.
In response to a March public records request asking if SDIRC had received any invoices from ANB, Brenda Davis, a SDIRC Administration Assistant in the Superintendent’s office replied as follows:
From: Davis, Brenda <Brenda.Davis@indianriverschools.org>
Sent: Monday, March 11, 2019 4:38 PM
Subject: RE: PRR – Allen Norton Blue Invoices
There have been no Allen Norton & Blue billing statements submitted, since August 1, 2018.
This completes your request.
School District of Indian River County
Phone: 772-564-3149 Fax: 772-564-3128
According to a recently obtained ANB invoice dated February 28, 2019, which was received by the District on March 11, 2019, ANB had invoiced $ 24,468.19 to the District on November 26, 2018, as opposed to Ms. Davis reply on March 11, 2019 that “There have been no Allen Norton & Blue billing statements submitted, since August 1, 2018.”
The $ 24,468.19 was carried forward on the February 28, 2019 invoice.
ANB invoiced the District an additional $1,023.97 on March 12, 2019.
Note from ANB invoice below note that it was “approved” for payment on May, 7, 2019.
This all occurred under Superintendent Dr. Mark Rendell’s watch who submitted his 30 day letter of resignation on Wednesday April 24. Whether this means anything or not, the invoice was approved on May 7, 2019, and Dr. Rendell’s last day was May 24, 2019.
What is more disturbing than this puzzle is that this matter should be investigated as a violation of Florida Statute 218.74, which states “The payment due date for a local governmental entity for the purchase of goods or services other than construction services is 45 days after the date specified in s. 218.73.
IRCSD was invoiced $ 24,468.10 on November 11, 2018 and $ 1,023.97 on March 12, 2019. ANB was not paid on the 45 day due date.
218.74 Procedures for calculation of payment due dates.—
(1) Each local governmental entity shall establish procedures whereby each payment request or invoice received by the local governmental entity is marked as received on the date on which it is delivered to an agent or employee of the local governmental entity or of a facility or office of the local governmental entity.
(2) The payment due date for a local governmental entity for the purchase of goods or services other than construction services is 45 days after the date specified in s. 218.73. The payment due date for the purchase of construction services is specified in s. 218.735.