Detroit, MI – Robert C. Bobb, Emergency Financial Manager, Detroit Public Schools, today introduced the new members of the DPS Finance Team.
Bobb announced the appointments of Ricardo A. Kisner, CPA as Chief Financial Officer, John E. Bell, Jr. as Inspector General, and Odell W. Bailey as Auditor General. Bobb noted the more than 93 years of collective experience that the three bring to their positions, and the community and Detroit ties they possess.
“Moving forward, Detroit parents, staff, and community members and leaders should be assured that today we have significantly strengthened our abilities to establish and maintain financial credibility, employ internal controls, assess risk, maintain compliance, and investigate improper or illegal practices,” Bobb commented.
Kisner most recently served as Chief Financial Officer/Deputy Village Manager for the Village of Glenview, Illinois. The Detroit Cass Technical High School graduate previously served as Finance Director/CFO for the City of Daytona Beach, Florida and as Chief Accounting Officer, and Director of Fiscal Operations for the Strategic Management Center (SMC), for the City of Detroit. The SMC served as a best-practice “think tank” for City government, and in his capacity as Director Kisner developed the “New Start Government Model” formulated from activity-based management, lean government, and balanced scorecard methodologies. Kisner holds a bachelors degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He served on the Governor’s Transition Team for Detroit Public Schools.
New DPS Inspector General Bell holds more than 39 years of law enforcement and investigative experience. He served from 2002 – 2005 as Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Air Marshall Service Detroit Field Office after 32 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where his roles included Special Agent in Charge of all FBI investigative operations in the State of Michigan, including organized crime, drug, foreign counterintelligence, violent crimes, major offenders and white collar crime. He also served as Special Agent in Charge over FBI operations in the State of Indiana, and Chief of the FBI Drug section, overseeing all investigations in the U.S. and abroad. He began his career in 1966 as a Deputy with the Ingham County Sheriff’s Department. He is past treasurer of the Alliance for a Safer, Greater Detroit. Bell holds a B.S. degree in criminal justice from Michigan State University.
The Inspector General role is a new one for DPS, although other national urban districts including Chicago Public Schools, Houston Independent School District, Los Angeles Unified School District and the Miami-Dade County Public Schools have such functions as part of their structure.
“The role of the Inspector General, quite frankly, is to investigate and audit waste, fraud or abuse,” Bobb said. Teams of investigators and auditors will work within this division, and Bobb encouraged staff members and community members to immediately report instances of waste, fraud or abuse to the Inspector General, whose office has established a confidential hotline, 313-870-3436 and email address, firstname.lastname@example.org . Bobb has fielded confidential communications since his first week in Detroit on two hotlines that his office maintains, 313-870-3725 and email@example.com . He encouraged staff and community members with recommendations for improvements and efficiencies to continue to contact him directly as well.
New DPS Auditor General Bailey served as Interim Auditor General, Deputy Auditor General and Audit Manager for Wayne County government. Prior to that he served as an Evaluator in Charge and Senior Evaluator for the United States Government Accounting Office, evaluating federally funded programs related to education, defense, housing, energy and regulatory compliance of mobile source emissions. He holds a bachelors degree in political science from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and a masters of science in finance from Walsh College. Bailey is a certified internal auditor and certified government financial manager. He is a Detroit Mumford High School graduate.
The Auditor General is the director of the internal audit department which is an independent function with the primary responsibility for assessing the level of risk in district operations and processes and ensuring that the internal control system in place is effective in mitigating such risks. This is achieved through auditing the district’s financial activities, operational programs and compliance with applicable laws and regulations on an ongoing basis.
Bobb is in his 21st day of a one-year appointment by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm. Last week he issued the first five in a series of Orders to rein in school district spending. He plans to present to the community during the first week of April the extent of the budget deficit and plans for moving forward.
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