CBS Atlanta Asks The Tough Questions, Gets Action
Courtesy CBS Atlanta
ATLANTA -- A CBS Atlanta News investigation is getting action tonight following our Tough Questions about a waste of our school kids money.
The Fulton County School Board voted Thursday night to oust a questionable contractor we exposed was defrauding the school district out of tens of thousands of dollars.
It's now official. The Fulton County School Board voted to rebid their school supply contract.
You may remember CBS Atlanta asked the Tough Questions and exposed Office Depot overcharging the school district for basic school supplies, like pens, pencils and paper.
School board members ducked and dodged our Tough Questions. Now those same public officials are taking a stand against Office Depot after we exposed they were overcharging the schools, and wasting your tax dollars.
"The concerns about the recent pricing oddities have to be considered in our decision not to renew our contract," said Linda Bryant, the Fulton School Board President.
The board’s unanimous vote made it final. The Fulton County Board of Education will not be renewing the contract with Office Depot.
"The board is entrusted to make sure our dollars are used in the most efficient and effective means possible," Bryant continued.
Our exclusive CBS Atlanta Investigation found not only was Fulton County buying school supplies from one of the highest bidders, at a price tag $1.5 million, more than other bidders, we also found Office Depot was charging Fulton County Schools more than the general public for many of those same supplies.
Chief Investigative Reporter Wendy Saltzman asked School CFO Robert Morales about his plans to notify Office Depot about the district's decision. "We have had a phone call with them know that we are going to proceed down this route," Morales said.
The deciding factor to cancel that contract were the pricing concerns CBS Atlanta first uncovered.
"Let's be honest as well, we have some issues regarding pricing difficulties. And so we wanted to make sure taking all of that into consideration that we go ahead and rebid," Morales told us.
As a result of CBS Atlanta's report, the school district was able to recover $23,000 in overcharges from Office Depot. Now the school district will rebid the contract, hoping to get the same supplies for less, saving our kids even more money.
"We look at it as better in several ways, one is pricing, that's one of the first things we look for," Morales continued.
Office Depot has also been accused of overcharging government agencies across the United States and they're under investigation for their questionable pricing tactics in at least five states.
The school district will start taking new bids as soon as possible and in the next few days they will be sending a letter to Office Depot to notify them of their intent to cancel that contract.
Office Depot told CBS Atlanta they had no response to our report.