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Louisiana BESE Member, Kira Orange-Jones, Bought a House in South Carolina– a Year Ago.

December 12, 2021

Where does Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) member and Teach for America (TFA) executive, Kira Orange-Jones, reside?

Well, as of December 31, 2020, she owns a house in Charleston, South Carolina, so that residency question becomes all that much more important to answer for a member of Louisiana’s state school board.

I have been questioning Orange-Jones’ residency for years. Orange-Jones, who married former New Mexico interim superintendent, Christopher Ruskowski, in October 2016, is also notorious for her sloppy, delinquent ethics filings. In fact, three days after I last wrote about Orange-Jones’ being years in arrears on her filings (posted 05/28/21), Orange-Jones filed her 2019 and 2020 reports (filed 05/31/21).

What Orange-Jones fails to acknowledge in her 2020 financial disclosure is that on December 31, 2020, she and husband Christipher Ruskowski puchased a house in South Carolina:

SC property search result Christopher Ruszkowski and Kira Orange:

Current Owner:

RUSZKOWSKI CHRISTOPHER N

ORANGE KIRA L

1338 SEA BASS COVE

CHARLESTON SC 29412

Sale date: 12/31/20

Purchase price: $745,000

Ruszkowski and Orange-Jones’ Charleston, SC, House (center)

Even though Orange-Jones clearly purchased this SC home with husband Christopher Ruszkowski in 2020, and even though her 2020 financial disclosure explicitly requires that she list “immovable property,” what Orange-Jones instead chose to do for this section is falsely check the box, “Check if not applicable.”

Here is what “immovable property,” is as defined in Louisiana law:

Immovable property” means all things fixed and immovable by nature, destination or object, or disposition of law, whether owned or leased for a definite and specific term stated or which are continuously used or operated in Louisiana, including, but not limited to land, real estate, depots and station houses…

Orange-Jones’ 2020 financial filing omitting her SC house

One more time: Orange-Jones fails to disclose the purchase of her SC house on her 2020 personal financial disclosure. For Section E: Immovable Property, Orange Jones checked the box labeled, “Check if not applicable.” However, Orange Jones submitted this filing on 05/31/21, five months after she and husband Ruskowski closed on their SC house.

Orange-Jones needs to formally answer to the Louisiana public regarding whether she is residing in that SC house and why she tried to keep the purchase hidden from her Louisiana constituent; she needs to be formally censured, not only for this latest questionable action but also for the summation of her failure to file timely financial disclosures for years, failure to file her taxes in a timely manner, and failure to attend approximately one in three BESE meetings.

Finally, if upon investigation, Orange-Jones is found to be residing outside of her BESE district, she needs to be removed and replaced. As it is, the message that the the Louisiana Board of Ethics is sending the Louisiana public is that Orange-Jones can behave as sloppily and opaquely as she likes, substantive consequence be damned.

Enough is enough.

Kira Orange-Jones, who lives where?

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3 Comments
  1. Polly Anglin permalink

    She and so many other progressives are above the law.. polly

  2. Robert Tellman permalink

    Louisiana truly appreciates your following of, and reporting on, matters of public education. BESE is one of those important matters, a very important one. You have shown over the years many instances of out-of-state influence on our in-state public education governing body, and areas of possible ethics violations of its members. It’s a shame that politics, being what it is, has prevented any real reckoning for any errant members of BESE. If I worked as hard as you do on uncovering and exposing these real abuses of power, whether illegal or just plain rotten, I would truly be disheartened. Yet you remain vigilant.

    I would ask that you, taking into consideration all you have uncovered in the past, remain vigilant in your scrutiny of BESE members and their actions. Just because the Advocate may report on something, and some BESE members may make public statements accusing the state superintendent of misdeeds, please do not rush to judgement about his actions being wrong. I, for one, do not trust BESE members who are casting public doubt on his actions to be doing so for altruistic reasons. There are still a lot of political shenanigans going on behind the scenes, don’t for one minute believe they’re not. It’s still the same reporter for the Advocate who was, and may still be, in John White’s, etc., pockets. It’s still the same out-of-state influenced in-state education body who has shown it cannot be trusted to have the children and citizens of Louisiana’s best interests at heart. It is still not too many years out from the John White years to believe all of that evil has simply disappeared. It just doesn’t happen that way.

    So when you repeat the news stories and the public statements being made against the state superintendent by some members of BESE, it may lend credibility to something that could be inherently false, innocent, or misleading. Beware wolves in sheep’s clothing, please.
    Thank you.

    • …Except that, unlike the Advocate, I link to original documents that lend credibility to my positions– and highlight discrepancies that public servants accused of wrongdoing could and should explain to the public.

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