APA charter school blew nearly half a million in a botched expansion plan

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{ }APA charter school blew nearly half a million in a botched expansion plan. (FILE Photo: KUTV)

Would a traditional school district be allowed to rack up half a million in pricey litigation and property acquisition, all because of a hasty expansion plan?

That’s what KUTV2 reporter Chris Jones and the Beyond the Books team sought to answer by taking a look into a legal mess involving American Preparatory Academy in Draper.

The charter school acquired a landlocked parcel of land in an industrial park with no access for emergency vehicles, and built a new school facility on it, without pulling any permits with Draper City – a legal loophole allowed for charter schools, but not for traditional public school districts.

During construction, they sought to acquire a 2-foot by 800-foot strip of land with the idea to make an access road on it. To do so, they took the owners of that property, Price Logistics LLC, to court.

Three years later, a judge has ruled against American Preparatory Academy’s attempted land grab at every turn and the case isn’t closed yet.

In the legal fight, the school paid public money to a private attorney, Vince Rampton with the firm Jones Waldo, to the tune of almost $200,000 between 2015 and 2017.

Where was the other $300,000 of taxpayer money spent?

Details of the full investigation can be found here.