Watch CBS News

KDKA Investigation Gets Action: Pittsburgh School Board Poised To Review Contracting, Ethics Rules

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- KDKA's report on that trip to Cuba by superintendent Anthony Hamlet and four administrators sparked an internal district investigation.

KDKA's follow-up look at dozens of non-competitive contracts to vendors led the state auditor general to initiate his own probe.

Now, before the school board are measures to regain oversight and control.


At Wednesday night's meeting, board solicitor Ira Weiss will offer a resolution -- the district immediately review all of its contracting procedures to ensure the need, quality and price, and, if the current policies are lacking, to institute new ones. He's also proposing that all district administrators and staffers undergo formal ethics training.

"I'm not making any judgement on anything, but clearly the public deserves to know and the board deserves to know what the policies are. They need addressed," Weiss said.

KDKA reported that since becoming superintendent, Hamlet and the district have been on a technological buying spree, spending millions without a competitive process.

Tuesday morning on KDKA Radio with Lynne Hayes-Freeland, the superintendent challenged the accuracy of KDKA's reports, saying he was not required to bid out the contracts but often puts out RFPs, or requests for proposals. KDKA's reporting, however, found little evidence of either.

"We can RFP them, we can negotiate them, et cetera, but we follow the PA code. We also follow federal guidelines when it comes to if those processes are RFPed or not, or if those particular contracts are negotiated or not. We have a particular process in place that guides us in that practice. So that's just an outright lie when it comes to us having a problem with no-bid contracts," Hamlet said.

Below is a list of about 100 technology applications purchased or renewed during Hamlet's tenure.


We have highlighted about of dozen of the contracts below:


KDKA's accounting finds more than $14 million in purchases, and in more than two dozen confidential interviews, teachers and staffer says much of redundant and goes unused.

Board members have not been commenting on the matter, pointing to the now-ongoing investigations.

Board president Lynda Wrenn, however, says she is supporting the review of contracting and ethics policies. She tells KDKA the public is entitled to accountability and transparency, and she says the district needs to get to the bottom of all this.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.