State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s keen interest in the Scranton School District is well-documented. He rightly sees the district as a broken model of mismanagement and malfeasance, and apparently recognizes its remediation as a political springboard for the next governor of Pennsylvania.
State Attorney General Josh Shapiro is reading the same political tea leaves. Shapiro’s continuing corruption investigation gives him a muscular leg up on DePasquale, but the auditor general seems determined to stay in a race that won’t officially start until 2022.
DePasquale’s last three Instagram posts are all Scranton-related. See them here. On Thursday, the auditor general warned district officials that he is determined to keep taxpayer money from being used to “pad” the district’s controversial no-bid busing contract with DeNaples Transportation of Dunmore.
“I’ve told my team to get ready to come in to do another audit,” DePasquale said. “That money has got to be used for the betterment of education of the kids in the district.”
“Two things that I would find unacceptable with that money — unacceptable — and that is furthering the worst school bus contract in the history of Pennsylvania and furloughing teachers. So consider that the warning.”
And consider it a declaration that the race for the next governor of Pennsylvania will be between two reformers who see Scranton as a stepping stone to Harrisburg.