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Comptroller's Audit Shines Light On DOE Contracts With Nonprofit Leadership Academy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Comptroller Scott Stringer revealed the findings of his office's audit of the city's Department of Education and its contract with the New York City Leadership Academy.

Stringer says the DOE doled out $101 million to the nonprofit academy, which coaches aspiring principals, but the academy has nothing to show for all the money spent.

"Basic required record keeping was missing, and that means there's a real risk that the deal we made improper payments," Stringer said.

The contracts required progress reports and meetings, but auditors couldn't find sign in sheets for hours worked.

Stringer says the education department pays academy coaches $183 an hour without documentation they actually worked.

"When adults don't do their job and don't do oversight, our kids pay the price," Stringer said.

The DOE tells WCBS 880 it stopped using most of the organization's services in June, but will review its procurement process moving forward.

The DOE said actual amount in services audited was about $560,000.

Meanwhile, the New York City Leadership Academy released a statement taking issue with Stringer's claims about its effectiveness.

"We have always worked with the DOE to meet the mandates under our contract and will continue to do so to make sure the work of our coaches and other staff are accurately and appropriately supported, as the DOE confirmed was the case in its response to the Comptroller," the academy said. "Over 14 years, the NYC Leadership Academy, a nationally recognized organization, has trained more than 550 aspiring school leaders and coached close to 2,000 principals in New York City alone."

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