It looks like former Monroe County School District Financial Director Kathy Reitzel will finally get her day in court starting Feb. 12.
After blowing the whistle on Monique Acevedo’s theft of more than $413,000 in taxpayer money and Monique’s husband then-Superintendent Randy Acevedo’s cover-up, Kathy Reitzel has had to endure years of waiting, six trial dates and three judges. The School Board is “teaching” us all a terrible lesson: Is it really worth doing the right thing by stepping up to the plate and exposing corruption?
Kathy Reitzel saved taxpayer money by exposing the theft that had been going on for years; the School Board says it is saving taxpayer money by continuing to fight her in court. Who are they kidding? Insurance money will pay for any settlement or judgment. Unfortunately, the taxpayers will be paying for the legal fees the School Board continues to incur by dragging this out. They are just trying to save face. They made her the scapegoat, fired the whistleblower and created a horrible civics lesson for future generations of students — stand up for what is right and we will crush you.
The School Board stood by and let then-Superintendent Acevedo promote his wife into a lucrative position that she was woefully unqualified for. When Kathy Reitzel caught her stealing, exposed the thievery, testified to the thievery and cover-up, what did they do? They gave her the choice of retire or be fired. When she signed that she was retiring under duress, she was made to remove the statement “under duress.” Where is the justice in that?
Kathy Reitzel was protecting us, the hard-working taxpayers of Monroe County, as she had done for many years. She and her staff had previously uncovered a number of fraudulent activities that were summarily dismissed by the School Board. How many other fraudulent activities have gone unnoticed and/or unpunished? The recent scandal of more than $20,000 that has gone missing from Horace O’Bryant School is a perfect example.
Kathy Reitzel is a hero. She did not need to put her career and future on the line by exposing the ongoing thievery and cover-up of the Acevedos, but she chose to do the right thing. For that, she has suffered years of lost wages, vilification, pain and suffering. It is time she is finally heard by a jury of her peers.
Nancy Turenne, Marathon