Charter officials pay for extra days in Vegas

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas, especially if you inappropriately charge taxpayers for the trip.

Two employees of the Columbus-based Internet charter school Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, or ECOT, attended a school-safety conference in Las Vegas in July 2013. The charter school paid for their flight, hotel and expenses.

If you’re wondering why officials from an online school, whose students take classes from home, need five days of training on responding to school shooters and the like, your curiosity might be doubly piqued to learn the conference was at the Red Rock Resort, with more than 3 acres dedicated to pool-side lounging.

“Boasting 19 irresistible private cabanas and an island fountain, our sprawling pool area offers enough space and the right balance of ambience for both pool parties and quiet relaxation,” including swim-up blackjack tables, the hotel’s website says. The adults-only Cabana Club “offers a more intimate poolside ambiance.”

It also has a few conference rooms, of course.

The conference’s “Meet & Greet Reception” was held poolside, “featuring networking, drinks, food, entertainment & door prizes,” according to the schedule.

Five days weren’t enough for the two ECOT employees, Dana Comparetto and Carol Dimoff.

“The conference ended at noon on Friday,” the audit says. “However the employees did not leave Las Vegas until Sunday night, incurring additional spending of $290 in hotel fees and $102 in meal expenditures,” which “does not meet the definition of a proper public purpose.”

(Read more at the Dispatch)