Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump has identified criminal wrongdoing in the investigation of John B. Barranco, the Merrimack Special Education Collaborative director who allegedly siphoned more than $10 million in public funds intended to provide education services to children with special needs.
In an update today, the Boston Globe reported that Bump and her team is determining whether Barranco's misconduct is part of a larger systemic problem across agencies in Massachusetts that work to educate special needs children.
Barranco is said to have spent more than $50,000 in personal expenses on a credit card from another nonprofit organization -- on items like gifts for a daughter, luxury apparel and vacation home renovations, the Globe reported Wednesday. He reportedly also increased his teacher's pension to $157,000 and inflated salaries for upper management and pay for a former girlfriend.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts Inspector General Gregory W. Sullivan has advised the Teachers Retirement System to reduce Barranco's pension, a move that Barranco has appealed.