Carolyn Starkey-Darden, 69, the former director of grant development at DPS, is charged by federal prosecutors with billing DPS $1.275 million over seven years for never-delivered tutoring services through companies she created. She did this, court records show, by submitting phony documents to the district that included doctored test scores, forged attendance records and parental signatures and fake individual learning plans — all of which went on forms that were required by DPS before payment could be made.
To bolster this claim, federal investigators cited some of Starkey-Darden’s emails, which are included in court documents. “I put in some fake scores for a few kids at Denby, just to get their plans approved. When and if we get real ones … just replace what I put in,” Starkey-Darden wrote in a 2008 email to an employee at a tutoring firm owned by her husband.