We previously read about El Camino Real Charter School in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He got into trouble because he was moonlighting as a coach for the NBA and charging his travel expenses to the school (i.e., the taxpayers).

The principal spent over $100,000 on personal items and charged them to the school. The school learned of the principal’s lavish spending in October 2015. This past week, the board decided to hire an investigator. Why did it take eight months to act?

He bought a $95 bottle of fine Syrah. Paid for first-class airfare and luxury hotel rooms. And racked up a $15,500 credit card tab at Monty’s Prime Steaks & Seafood.

David Fehte, executive director-principal of El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills, used the same school-issued American Express card to charge $100,000 over two years. Some charges came while moonlighting as a college basketball talent scout for the San Antonio Spurs.

Now the El Camino high board of directors has decided to launch an independent financial probe of the popular principal’s spending. The forensic accounting comes ahead of a year-long management assistance review by a state financial turnaround agency prompted by the credit card scandal.

“I want guidance from agencies to tighten up the (school fiscal) policy,” El Camino board Chairman Jonathan Wasser said after a unanimous vote late Wednesday to pay for the probe of its principal. “I believe in due process.

“We need to have the forensic accounting look over all the information because it’s big, and I’m not an accountant, and it requires somebody trained to look over the evidence.”

It gets worse.

Carl Petersen, a charter school parent at another charter school, reports on the efforts at El Camino Real Charter School to pre-empt the story before it came out. The school and the principal went into a defensive crouch, treating those who questioned its finances as enemies.

*Diane Ravitch is a historian of education, an educational policy analyst, and a research professor at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Wikipedia