Closed Orange County charter school faces more financial accusations

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - More troubling questions surround a charter school that's already under fire for a huge payout to the principal.

WFTV learned in October that Northstar High School principal Kelly Young was paid more than $500,000 even though the failing school had been forced to close.

While Young earned $519,000 this year, audits show her husband, Steven Young, had already received $467,800 over the course of six years, and he kept getting paid even after being charged with soliciting prostitutes.

“I think what has been done is completely unethical and morally indefensible,” said Orange County School Board Chair Bill Sublette.

Sen. Geraldine Thompson said if the lawmakers don't make charter schools more accountable, more taxpayer dollars will be wasted.

“You're spending a lot of taxpayer money that is not getting a return on our investment,” she said.

Steven Young stepped down as board president in 2008 after he was found guilty of solicitation, but he continued to provide management consulting services for the school until Orange County Public Schools shut it down in June for poor test scores and low graduation rates.

“We don't even have the ability to know what kind of management work, if any, this man was doing,” said Sublette.

The district is filing an ethics complaint with the state, but Sublette said there is little chance of getting taxpayer dollars back.

“I would tell lawmakers, unshackle us, give us the ability to write into our contracts,” he said.

“We have to reign it in now,” said Thompson.

Steven Young is now working as a divorce attorney.

When asked by WFTV about the money, he said, “I did nothing illegal or unethical. I have no further comment."