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Kenneth Moales Jr.: the new Chairman of the Bridgeport Board of Education ?

by Jon Pelto from Wait, What

Following the sudden announcement that Jacqueline Kelleher is resigning as the chair of the Bridgeport Board of Education (although she will be staying on as member of the Board), the five members of the Board of Education are expected, tonight, to elect Kenneth Moales Jr. to serve as the new Chairman of the Board.

Kenneth H. Moales, Jr. has served as vice chair of the Board and chairman of the Board’s Finance Committee. Moales also has the dubious honor of being one of Paul Vallas’ strongest supporters.

Moales, who serves as the pastor of Bridgeport’s Prayer Tabernacle Church of Love, Inc. and the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit is also a self-proclaimed “sought after national speaker.”

Controversy has long surrounded Moales’ tenure on the Bridgeport Board of Education. Appointed by Governor Malloy’s State Board of Education to serve on Bridgeport’s illegal Board of Education, Moales, who served as Mayor Bill Finch’s campaign treasurer, was part of the Finch-backed Democratic slate that took control of the Board when it returned to a democratically elected body.

Wait, What? readers may recall that as a Bridgeport Board of Education member, Kenneth Moales, Jr. has been in a truly unique position to watch as his mother and sister were able to dramatically increase the amount of public money flowing to the child care centers that they own and operate. The two daycare centers publicize that they are subsidiaries of the Prayer Tabernacle Church of Love, Inc.

Peggy Moales, Kenneth Moales’ mother serves as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Kingdom’s Little Ones in Christ, Inc. while his sister, Kendra Moales-Byrd, serves as the company’s Executive Director.

Although the legal paperwork is vague and full of errors, it appears that Kingdom’s Little Ones in Christ Inc. is the holding company for Kingdom’s Little Ones Christian Daycare, which is located at 1277 Stratford Avenue in Bridgeport and Kingdom’s Little Ones Academy which is located at 1243 Stratford Avenue in Bridgeport.

Both daycare centers are located in buildings owned by the Prayer Tabernacle Church of Love, Inc.

Two years ago, the two daycare centers brought in a total of $651,000, of which at least $428,000 came from taxpayer funds. As a result of Governor Malloy’s early care initiative, and the fact that the firms associated with Moales received a substantial amount of new funding, the total revenue for two childcare centers should be well over $1 million in 2012.

In 2011, among the company’s expenses were payments for rent in excess of $83,000 and a variety of other expenses adding up to tens of thousands of dollars for such things as travel and entertainment $4,449, “outside services” $20,107, consultants $2,433, gifts $1,825 and so on.

Strangest of all is that although the Internal Revenue Service’s mandated Form 990 requires the disclosure of any compensation for Board members and senior employees, the document fails to show any income for Moales’ mother or sister.

As pastor of the churches, Moales actually controls at least ten different properties including the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit – Home of the War Cry, which is located on Union Avenue, the Bishop Moales Fine Arts Center, located in the same building as one of the childcare centers, the Love Christian Academy, at 729 Union Avenue, and the House of Virtue, which is also on Central Avenue. Since all of the properties are owned by the church, none of them pay local property taxes.

The Love Christian Academy is reported to be a religious elementary school, servicing K-8th grade, and is located in a small house on Central Avenue. Mr. Mark Brevard, who serves as School’s principal is also a member of the Board of Directors for the day care company owned by Moales’ mother.

Another member of the Board of Directors is Aaron Sneed is also listed as a Bishop on various church documents.

Making the analysis particularly complex is that all the legal corporate filings with the State appear to be out of date. In fact, Moales’ father, Bishop Kenneth Moales, Sr. who passed away years ago, remains listed as the Chairman of the day care holding company.

Perhaps most interesting of all is that the Prayer Tabernacle’s failure to pay one of its bills to a foreclosure effort by the local Water Pollution Control Authority.

The foreclosure auction, which was supposed to take place this past Saturday at noon, was postponed, at the last moment, to September.

Meanwhile, Moales has submitted an application for one of the state’s coveted new public school charters. Moales wants Commissioner Stefan Pryor and the State Board of Education to grant him a charter to open a boy’s only school in Bridgeport.

Despite all this, and more, we can safely predict that the five members of the pro-Finch, pro-Vallas team will stick together and make Kenneth Moales, Jr. the next chair of the Bridgeport Board of Education at tonight’s 6:30 pm Board meeting.