The Miller-McCoy Academy for Mathematics and Business governing board is awaiting a decision from the Louisiana Board of Ethics on whether it will investigate the school for two potential violations of state ethics laws.

The potential misdeeds involve Miller-McCoy co-founders and former school leaders Tiffany Hardrick and Keith Sanders, both of whom are accused of canceling the school’s transportation contract with Hammond Transportation without permission from the charter school’s board of directors, board documents state.

Hardrick and Sanders later awarded a new service contract to BCH Service Group, a company owned by former school employee Bobby Hardrick, the brother of Tiffany Hardrick.

The contract was valued at $507,600 annually and was not approved by the board, board secretary Blake Oakes told The Lens in an email.

Board members terminated the contract with BCH after learning of the potential ethics violation. According to findings listed in the school’s annual audit, the board has since passed a resolution requiring board approval for all contracts.

Hardrick, who served as a co-principal at Miller-McCoy until she resigned in late July, may have also violated state nepotism laws by employing two siblings, according to the audit. Oakes identified the siblings as Latanya Graham and Bobby Hardrick.

Bobby Hardrick resigned from the school in June; Graham was terminated Nov. 16.

Oakes said the board reported both transgressions to the Recovery School District and the state ethics administration.

Sanders, who resigned from Miller-McCoy in September, was hired by the Delaware Department of Education, according to a Nov. 7 announcement from Denver Public Schools. The same release states that Hardrick was named assistant superintendent in Newark.

Board members discussed the potential violations Monday night during an audit presentation at its monthly meeting, but the board was unable formally accept the audit or take any other action because it failed to meet a quorum.

In other business, the board received an update on a new employee retirement savings plan with Hartford, a company that Miller-McCoy administrators and teachers urged the board to explore as an alternative to the state pension program.

Board members expressed concern over the lack of a quorum and inability to adopt the Hartford proposal, as the new retirement program is slated to begin Feb. 1 and has to be approved by the board before it takes effect.

Heather Miller

Heather Miller is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to The Lens' Charter School Reporting Corps. She is a former staff writer for The Independent in Lafayette, and is now based in New Orleans.