School district whistleblower speaks out about ruling

NAMPA - A judge ruled in favor of a woman who blew the whistle on the Nampa School District, and she's speaking about the judgement.

$160,000 was awarded to the former district accountant after a two year fight. The money will cover Danielle Sisayaket's back-pay. She was let go shortly after questioning where money was going and being spent at the schools.

Nampa School District spokesperson Allison Westfall sent this statement to KTVB over the weekend:

"This judgment was the end-product of mediation conference among attorneys for the plaintiff and the district's insurance company earlier this month. The insurance company made the decision to move forward with resolving the case to avoid going to trial."

The Nampa School District is still recovering from a multi-million dollar shortfall. Sisayaket says she started seeing signs of money mismanagement in 2009 after the nutrition services manager asked her to look in to missing funds out of her budget.

"I noticed huge transfers of money and they were recurring throughout the year, and it concerned me," said Sisayaket.

She decided to voice her concerns to the district, but says she was told everything was fine. However, Sisayaket says she kept seeing questionable transactions in accounting so she went to the chief operations officer and human resources.

"In less than a week I was terminated," said Sisayaket.

That was in September of 2011. The Nampa School District says Sisayaket's position was eliminated because of cuts in state funding. Her lawyer, Breck Seiniger, claims it's because she blew the whistle.

"It's no small thing to get involved in litigation and that's why when we screen a case we make sure there's merit," said Seiniger.

Seiniger filed a tort claim against the school district in 2012. Sisayaket says there's no way she could have just walked away after losing her job, because she cares about the kids, teachers and staff at the district. She still cares for them, and that's why the judgement is bittersweet.

"I'm just glad it's over and I can move on with my life and rebuild my career," said Sisayaket.

Sisayaket hopes tax payers ask the Nampa School District for a forensic audit because she says there are still a lot of questions. She says the public deserves to know where their money is being spent.

The Nampa School District has said it did investigate concerns about record keeping errors and expenditures of funds and found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Sisayaket released this statement following our interview with her:

"I may seem stoic in the interview. But, on the real, I hold my inner thoughts and emotions deep within me. People rarely see me cry as I do it in private and I refuse to show fear. People see the tough outer shell. This lawsuit has been the hardest thing I have ever experienced and tested my emotional limits. The thought to give up never crossed my mind. The District had no idea who they were up against. The minute they tried to put me a step back, I went forward two. I worked hard, thought creatively, and never gave up. I listened to the guidance of my attorneys Breck Seiniger Law Offices, P.A. and Scott Learned and gained so much knowledge from them. They fought hard for me and I could not have asked for a better team as they share the same integrity that I do. I stuck to my moral and ethical values and God carried me for doing so. Anytime i felt scared or frustrated, I prayed and was overcome with warmth and peace.I thought of all the times Divine Intervention affected my life and there was no way I was letting my maker down. I knew what I was doing was right as so many lives would have been negatively affected if I had not taken a stand. I am thankful and humbled by this experience. For now, I will continue to decompress and enjoy my family and friends."


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