Sussex Tech audit finds financial improprieties in land, construction deals

 <a href=>School Audit (Courtesy BigStock Photo)</a>

School Audit (Courtesy BigStock Photo)

A state audit says a Delaware  businessman sold a piece of property to a Sussex County school district for almost double what he paid for it two weeks earlier, then received millions of dollars from the district for construction management work that skirted state bidding and purchasing requirements.

The findings were released Thursday following an investigation into Sussex Technical School District’s dealings with Laurel businessman Michael Horsey.

Auditors found that after attending a 2011 planning meeting regarding a new bus entrance, Horsey bought a piece of land needed for the project for $110,000, then sold it to the district two weeks later for $200,000.

The district ultimately paid Horsey more than $3.8 million for construction-related services, at times avoiding bidding and purchasing rules by “piggybacking” unrelated projects and splitting invoices.

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