The Latest: Charter school chain says Ohio complaint flawed


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on a complaint filed against 17 Ohio-based charters schools by an attorney for the Turkish government (all times local):

2:50 p.m.

The company that manages 17 Ohio-based charter schools targeted in a complaint filed by a lawyer for the Turkish government says the report includes “numerous false allegations.”

A spokesman for Chicago-based Concept Schools didn’t detail the falsehoods.

The complaint alleges the company collected $19 million in excessive profits through a leasing scheme involving affiliated property owners, landlords and subsidiaries and the governing boards of the Horizon and Noble academies in Ohio.

Spokesman Mark Weaver said attorney Robert Amsterdam was hosted by ProgressOhio, a liberal policy group affiliated with teachers unions. He says ProgressOhio has made similar allegations before that Ohio officials found “incorrect and false” and he expects the same this time.

Weaver called Amsterdam “a foreign agent,” although Amsterdam says he’s from the Bronx in New York City.

10:25 a.m.

A lawyer for the Turkish government hired to investigate publicly funded U.S. charter schools started by the followers of a reclusive Muslim cleric living in Pennsylvania is filing a formal complaint with Ohio’s auditor.

Attorney Robert Amsterdam announced the complaint Tuesday, alleging that a network of Ohio charter schools has engaged in improper relationships with its management company and landlord, with their business subsidiaries and with each other.

The complaint also asserts that Horizon Science Academies and Noble Academies have ties to Fethullah Gulen (feh-TOO’-lah goo-LEHN’), a political foe of Turkish President Recep Erdogan (REH’-jehp UR’-doh-wahn).

A message seeking comment from the Chicago-based Concept Schools, which manage the Horizon and Noble academies, was not immediately returned.

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