Former FOX C-6 Superintendent won’t face federal charges

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Dr. Dianne Critchlow, former superintendent of the Fox School District.

ARNOLD, MO (KTVI) – A state audit discovered former FOX C-6 School District Superintendent Dianne Critchlow made approximately $200,000 worth of questionable expenses. The United States Attorney’s Office has closed its investigation into the matter. They have concluded that there is no basis for criminal charges.

Fox 2’s You Paid For It team began looking into accusations of nepotism, mismanagement, and subsequent questioning over high salaries in the Fox School District three years ago. The Missouri State Auditor’s Office on released a report this May detailing tens of thousands of dollars of improper spending from the former district superintendent.

Critchlow’s lawyers released this statement:

“We are very pleased with the outcome of the federal investigation, clearing Dr. Critchlow of any wrongdoing. We appreciate the hard work and thoroughness of the seasoned and professional members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI who conducted the investigation. At all times, whether it be with the State Auditor’s Office, the Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office, or the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Dr. Critchlow has offered and provided her full and complete cooperation.

To be clear — Dr. Critchlow did not use public funds for her personal benefit and did not manipulate, sign or approve her own contracts or salary increases. These allegations are FALSE. It is time for the media and others to stop repeating these false, malicious and defamatory allegations.

Dr. Critchlow chose not to prosecute this case in the media so as not to interfere with the investigation. While she has allowed this investigation to run its course, she has always trusted in the system and believed that a fair and impartial investigation would clear her name. She is ecstatic that this day has finally arrived.

As always, Dr. Critchlow hopes and prays for the continued success of the faculty, staff and students of the Fox C-6 School District to whom she dedicated her entire professional career.”

State audit discovered Dr. Dianne Critchlow made approximately $200,000 worth of what it calls “questionable expenses,” ranging from restaurant meals, groceries, gas, personal electronics, gift cards and salaries for Critchlow and her husband.

Auditors poured over credit card records and found hundreds of purchases that were made without the review and consent of the school board. The district’s credit card policy allows for purchases of instructional materials, buildings needs, and other supplies. However, the former superintendent used the district credit card buy common items like coffee, batteries, and shampoo, and far more luxurious items such as digital cameras and smartphones.

The audit also discovered the credit card was used to purchase logging equipment the same month Critchlow’s husband, a school administrator, filed paperwork to open a timber company.

Dianne Critchlow’s lawyer released a statement denying that Critchlow did anything wrong.

Attorney Brandy Barth called the State Audit one sided and biased. She said all of Critchlow’s expenditures were approved by the Fox School Board, and that Critchlow was not in charge of setting her salary. The attorney says all credit card purchases were for school district purposes. The attorney also says few of Critchlow’s responses were included in the State Audit.

The school board has learned insurance may cover some of the losses.

Other spending concerns were detailed in the audit, which be viewed in its entirety below: