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Odyssey current and former board presidents 'picked Gov. Carney's brain' at April meeting

Delaware Public Media

Gov. John Carney met with the current and ex-president of the Odyssey Charter School board weeks before the school was placed on formal review.

But not before the state Education secretary and lawmakers began voicing concern.

Odyssey Board president Josiah Wolcott and former board president Dimitri Dandalos sat down with Carney April 10th.

That was just days after the Public Integrity Commission’s April 2nd opinion found the school’s ties to the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) resulted in “real and alarming” conflicts of interests.

Also in April, lawmakers asked State Auditor Kathy McGuiness to audit the school. She told DOE she will if they pay for it.

The Department of Education gave Odyssey until May 1st to address complaints of misappropriation of funds, gender discrimination and charter violations. But the school’s now under investigation after its plan failed to adequately deal with AHEPA's influence on the board's majority and its decisions.

Carney said he believes they sought to address those board governance issues they had been dealing with. He said they didn’t ask him to intercede on their behalf with agencies in his administration.

“I think they wanted to know whether I had heard some of the rumors about different governance issues that they had," he said. "It’s not an issue in particular that I had been following, so I basically listened to what they had to say.”

Carney said they also had a list of things AHEPA had done for Odyssey.

“The point he was trying to make is that Hellenic organization was doing more for the school than anything the school was doing for it or any of the members of it," he said. "That was kind of my take away from they wanted to get across.”

Wolcott said he and Dandalos wanted to meet with Carney to pick his brain regarding the issues facing the school.

The Public Integrity Commission opinion details Wolcott’s attempt to get Dandalos hired at the school after he stepped down from the board.

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