Raytown school board president investigated for purchases on district credit card

The Raytown school board president, who resigned in May, is now under investigation for her use of a district purchasing card.

Kristie Collins had cited personal reasons when she stepped down. But a district memo announcing her resignation said, “The Board of Education is currently reviewing Dr. Collins’s use of the district purchasing card.”

Superintendent Allan Markley said Friday that the district is cooperating with legal authorities, but did not elaborate on who is investigating. “We are reviewing discrepancies,” he said. “The board reviews all purchases.”

Markley and board members declined to give details about the alleged misuse of the card. Collins did not return The Star’s calls requesting comment.

School board members are unpaid elected officials granted the use of district purchasing cards to pay for board materials and board-related travel expenses.

“I don’t have one,” said Rick Thode, a retired CPA and partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers who was elected to the board in April. “I don’t see the need. I don’t have any expenses related to board activity, and if I did I would probably pay out of pocket and seek reimbursement. I don’t like P (procurement) cards.”

On Monday, board members appointed Alonzo Burton to fill her vacancy. He will serve until the April 2020 school board election. Board member Rick Moore was elected to serve as president for the 2019-2020 school year.

Collins was first elected to the board in 2006 and re-elected in April 2009, 2012, 2015, and 2018.

According to her LinkedIn page, Collins, a Raytown High School alum, is a process improvement and change management consultant for IBM.

She holds a doctorate in business management from Northcentral University, an online school. She is executive director for Women Making a Difference, a Kansas City nonprofit that supports such efforts as professional athletes and women re-entering the workplace, strengthening parenting skills and providing food and clothing for needy students.

She had previously served as director of educational services for Lombardi Software and as business services manager of the Global Business Solutions Division there.

Mará has written on all things education for The Star for 20 years, including issues of school safety, teen suicide, universal pre-K programs, college costs, campus protests and university branding.