NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Our FOX 17 News investigation into the $1 million markup of cameras Metro Nashville Schools purchased through the Meharry no-bid contract continues after getting a response from leaders at Meharry.
These cameras are designed to detect someone holding a gun, but MNPS purchased them to help detect COVID-19.
MNPS spent $1.9 million to purchase 130 thermal imaging cameras. The invoices we received from the creator of these REDCARE cameras and the invoice MNPS received from Meharry show that markup.
ALSO READ: Meharry Medical College and Recover Health leaders mum on thermal camera markup
A spokesperson for Meharry tells FOX17 News in a statement:
“MMCV, Inc. is honored to have been able to work with MNPS during a time of crisis to address our local schools’ needs and get our community’s children safely back in classrooms. We appreciate having MNPS as a client and will, at all times, be responsive to any questions or concerns its team has about our contract, our subcontractors, or related matters.”
The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office says Metro has an internal audit function, and in January, they referred numerous allegations related to this contract to Metro’s external auditor, Crosslin, for further review.
RELATED: Leaders a part of no-bid contract react to $1 million markup of cameras MNPS bought
FOX 17 News asked the Meharry team if any internal or external auditors reached out in regard to this contract. We are waiting on a response.
Metro’s internal auditor says she has not heard from the comptroller about this contract and will conduct the previously scheduled internal audit of COVID relief spending later this year.
The Comptroller’s Office also says “MNPS should evaluate its business decisions and contractual arrangements to ensure it is getting the lowest price possible for goods and services rendered.”
A spokesperson for MNPS tells FOX 17 News in a statement:
“In 2021, MNPS partnered with Meharry, an institution with deep roots in the community and experience in health care, to develop a comprehensive safe return to school plan that included many different components. It was an emergency contract developed in accordance with the applicable laws, policies, and procedures. If we were to seek similar services in the future, we have the benefit of time and experience to structure the procurement process differently.
We regularly participate in audits at the local, state, and federal level and provide information or documentation as requested. Our contract with MMCV stipulates that if there were any audit findings requiring reimbursement to the federal government, that MMCV would be responsible for paying it.”
ALSO SEE: State comptroller's office responds to Meharry, Metro Schools no-bid contract
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