Dear Editor,
The defenses offered by Superintendent Karen Delano for her decision to award the Auburn City Schools Athletics broadcasting rights to Auburn Network, LLC (August 8, 2016) raise more questions than she answered.
Delano seems to think that Auburn Network and Mike Hubbard are not the same thing. It is public record that Mike Hubbard is the 100 percent owner of Auburn Network. Every favor, money or thing-of-value given by ACS to Auburn Network goes straight to Mike Hubbard, a convicted felon.
For Delano to say that the award of broadcast rights “has nothing to do with the school system’s relationship with Mike Hubbard” is either ignorant or disingenuous, especially when it is immediately followed with her admission that “thousands of dollars” have been donated to the school system by Mike Hubbard.
Was the new 5-year, no-fee broadcast agreement given to Hubbard’s stations in return for those donations? Is it proper stewardship of ACS assets to give away $56,000 in broadcast rights to the Auburn Network for nothing, especially when his stations have an inferior signal to all the other local stations? Maybe our special prosecutor needs to look into this relationship.
We should also ask whether Mike Hubbard’s donation of thousands of dollars was from his personal pocket, or or from State tax revenues. Let’s look at Mike Hubbard’s personal tax returns to see if those donations show up. If not, wasn’t Mike using our tax dollars to make a donation to ACS in exchange for broadcast rights which will put money in his personal pocket after he has been convicted? At the very least, it sounds like a misuse of State funds.
Is this what we want our school system to teach our children? Whoever makes the biggest “donations” gets the contracts? ACS awards lots of contracts. Maybe we should take a look at whether other vendors have been making “donations” to ACS. Hopefully, we will find that most companies and individuals who make substantial gifts in money or in-kind to ACS don’t expect favors or a payoff. Apparently, Mike Hubbard did, and his expectation was fulfilled.
Remember, whether Superintendent Delano thinks so or not, the good citizens on the Lee County jury had already decided Mike Hubbard was a crook when she gave Hubbard’s company the sweetheart contract. Why? Her answers simply ring untrue.
Cynthia Ingram