Patricia Fairclough, the George Washington Carver Elementary School Principal, and Vice Mayor of Homestead, Florida, is evading taxes.
Fairclough and her husband, Kelvin Staggers, were married in February 2018, both owning their own homes.
In Florida, there is a Homestead Exemption allowing a substantial write off on the assessed value of your home for property tax purposes.
You must be living in the home on January 1 any year for which you claim the exemption.
Yet, a married couple can claim the Homestead Exemption legally on only one home, and it must be their primary residence.
Evidence obtained by True Homestead shows Fairclough and Staggers evaded taxes at least in 2019.
And unless they were not living together before their marriage in 2018, it’s likely they evaded taxes that year as well, and it is likely that they will continue to do so in the future.
This amounts to Homestead Exemption Fraud. And it is not Fairclough’s first scheme to commit fraud we are exposing, nor is it the best.
We’re saving that one for last.
HOW MUCH WAS EVADED?
Fairclough’s 2019 TRIM Notice shows the full break down of her taxes.
The Homestead Exemption allows for a $25,000 write off of assessed value for all property taxes levied, and a second $25,000 write off of assessed value for non-school taxes.
In Fairclough’s case, she evaded $554.47 with the first exemption, and $375.77 with the second, for a total tax evasion amount of $930.24, in 2019.
Of this total amount, $175.63 would have been allocated to Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS).
In reality, this latter amount she unlawfully withheld, was in effect stealing from her employer, MDCPS, as well as the children she claims to care about.
WHY DO WE CARE?
As seen in the below video, Fairclough has taken the position that if she did something wrong in advocating for school children, she’d “do it again.”
The irony is her knowingly doing something wrong that is hurtful to our children — by evading her duty to pay required taxes.
Fairclough has a history of spinning trending political issues for personal gain, as well as a penchant for financial shadiness and/or credit fiascoes.
We expect Fairclough to claim this is all ‘insignificant,’ like she did in the below video, to avoid responding as to why she skipped out on paying her fair share of taxes — to schools for impoverished children.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
As a sitting Councilwoman, Fairclough pushed for and voted to give her primary employer, MDCPS, $775,000 of your tax dollars, allegedly for construction of a school, she was later “requested” to apply for a promotion to Principal.
This conflict has been covered several times, but here is a good article and the comments therein elucidate the issue(s) very well.
Likewise, her comments in the video above are not accurate, are misleading at best, and neither the vote nor discussion on this matter was unanimous.
Further, the actual amount of these funds, as well as how they were spent, contrast significantly with what City Attorney Richard Weiss falsely told the Ethics Commission when claiming it was only $175,000 for computers (read lied), while getting Fairclough clearance to accept her principalship.
But what’s $600,000 amongst friends, right?
Fairclough and Weiss even discussed this conflict of interest during a Community Reinvestment Agency (CRA) meeting as reflected beginning at the top of page 2 of the minutes.
This was schemed from the beginning. Yet, who stood to benefit the most?
And it wasn’t just the promotion she got for giving her primary employer gifts from Homestead tax coffers; Fairclough received other kickbacks too.
In July 2013, MDCPS Superintendent Alberto Carvalho gave Fairclough, who was then Assistant Principal of Pine Lake Elementary School, a $1,000 award after the School Board approved the agreement in early 2013 between MDCPS and the City of Homestead’s CRA.
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE?
The funds to pay the award came from a Race To The Top grant.
Interestingly, MDCPS is the only school system in the State of Florida which used these Race To The Top funds to reward teachers and administrators.
Curiously, Fairclough got a reward for the school performance. But even more curious is why the assistant principal, and not the principle, got it.
Instead of allowing the money to flow to impoverished children, Fairclough simply put it in her own pocket, and did it while clapping for herself, figuratively and literally, see the above picture.
But that is what happens when you can use other people’s money to buy yourself favors and influence.
And while Fairclough may be generous with other people’s money, she is certainly stingy with her own to the point of unlawfulness.
Can we not find a representative for our children, one who gives of themselves selflessly — not one who is always looking out for their own best interest even if they have to lie, cheat, and steal?
We think you should, as Fairclough’s sign in the cover photo declares: Save Your Child’s Education.
And Carvalho can help us: by removing her from a leadership position.