- Associated Press - Saturday, September 26, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The board overseeing a Platte educational cooperative thrust into the spotlight when an apparent murder-suicide claimed its two business managers has hired an outside firm to conduct an audit.

Scott Swier, an attorney representing Mid-Central Educational Cooperative, said board members this week voted to retain Eide Bailey to conduct a forensic audit.

Mid-Central had been administering a Native American college-readiness program for the state, but education officials pulled the $4.3 million federal contract for GEAR UP.

Investigators believe Scott Westerhuis shot his wife and four children last week, then set the family home near Platte ablaze before shooting himself. Authorities are investigating the contract as part of an ongoing inquiry into the deaths.

Mid-Central provides speech, language and hearing services to several area school districts.

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