The following is a letter from the Office of the Legislative Auditor of the State of Minnesota. It is printed in its entirety at the request of Dr. Ella Mahmoud.
September 11, 2012
Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, MN 55113
Dear Commissioner Cassellius,
On August 3, 2012, you asked the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) to review documents related to a 1999 grant from the State of Minnesota to Synergy Residential Academy (Synergy) for $6,159,190. You expressed concern that the state may not have made sufficient efforts to recover money and other assets when Synergy closed in 2003. In response, we reviewed the documents you provided, obtained additional documents, and conducted several interviews with a focus on the following questions:
• Does the State of Minnesota have a basis to recover money from Synergy?
• Does the state have a basis to claim a financial interest in the space that was constructed for Synergy?
In our opinion, the answer to both questions is “no.” Unless additional information comes to our attention that suggest a need for further review by OLA, our involvement with issues related to the 1999 state grant to Synergy is closed.