Jan Geht is an attorney living in Traverse City, Michigan. He practices law for Bowerman, Bowden, Ford, Clulo & Luyt, P.C., and used to work for the Tax Division of the United States Justice Department as a trial attorney. Geht recently announced his candidacy for Traverse City Area Public Schools Board. His campaign website depicts him as a leader of the community and loving, attentive family man.
Sounds so perfect and idyllic, right? This man couldn’t possibly have any skeletons in his closet. On his website, he states his purpose for wanting to be on the board:
We all know that TCAPS faces a number of external pressures (you don’t say!?), the most publicized of which is inadequate funding from the State. Providing high-quality education to all of our students in the face of this funding shortage is a very difficult problem. We may not be able to change the per-pupil funding, but with strong elected local leadership, our schools can not only survive but thrive. This will require Board members with a proven track record of working with others to successfully solve complex problems.
The glaring irony of this statement, and the one thing you never see mentioned on Jan Geht’s shiny website is that Geht currently has the pleasure and privilege of representing for the defense in THE for-profit charter school felony fraud scandal in the state of Michigan – United States v. Ingersoll. If you’ve never heard of this case before, that’s not an accident. The Traverse City Record Eagle bends over backwards to avoid wasting a millimeter of space in their pristine print daily about Steve Ingersoll, Grand Traverse Academy, and the millions of dollars in tax payer funds embezzled by the convicted felon Jan Geht has for a client.
Every parent of a child attending TCAPS needs to ask Jan Geht one question: “How will you work to ensure there is no conflict of interest with doing what’s best as a board member for Traverse City Area Public Schools, while you defend a convicted felon responsible for embezzlement and tax fraud of millions of dollars from a charter school that is in direct competition with TCAPS and responsible in part for creating the underfunding problem you claim you want to solve?”
Because it’s a sure bet TCAPS could have put $3.5 million to good use educating Traverse City’s children rather than being embezzled by Steve Ingersoll.
People who run campaigns to be elected to school boards usually do so because they’re motivated to change something with the school district they oversee. That motivation unfortunately isn’t always to the benefit of the school district or the children who attend the schools in that district. Jan Geht has spent the past two years representing Steve Ingersoll in a federal tax fraud case that should be national news, but somehow isn’t. If it were, Geht would probably reconsider running for the school board. He’s only doing his job that he maybe will get paid to do defending Ingersoll, but one has to wonder what is Jan Geht’s agenda for running for TCAPS school board. As Miss Fortune says, Chutzpah indeed.