“Ted Viera’s” LinkedIn profile. “Viera” is the maiden name of former Hesperia mayor Tad Honeycutt’s mother. In September 2007, Honeycutt and C. Steven Cox, the founder of California Charter Academies, were indicted on 117 felony charges related to $5.5 million in taxpayer funds the pair allegedly mishandled. Five years later, Honeycutt went back into the education business, using the name “Ted Viera.” The Viera LinkedIn page was shut down Friday afternoon. (Screenshot)

By Beau Yarbrough, The Sun
Posted: 06/09/17 – 5:48 PM PDT |

RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> Five years after he was indicted on 34 charges related to the failure of the largest chain of charter schools in California and facing up to 20 years in prison, former Hesperia mayor Tad Honeycutt went back into the education business.

Calling himself “Ted Viera,” using his mother’s maiden name for his alias, Honeycutt was the manager of Innovative Academies. On the company’s LinkedIn profile page, Innovative Academies is described as providing “a learning network platform for private schools in the USA to globalize and connect to students throughout the world. We are actively seeking key ‘Sister School’ partnerships globally with schools, tutoring centers, student recruitment firms, and other education organizations.”

On Friday, after Honeycutt’s latest pretrial hearing at West Valley Superior Court in Rancho Cucamonga alongside co-defendant C. Steven Cox, Honeycutt confirmed that he was “Viera.”

“That was something I tried to get going,” Honeycutt said.

He used the alias because getting work as Honeycutt, with the news coverage and indictment hanging over his head, was too difficult, he said. (Viera’s LinkedIn page was shut down Friday afternoon.) Almost 10 years after he and Cox were indicted, the pair have not yet been tried.

In an April 2005 audit commissioned by the state Department of Education, Cox and Honeycutt, along with a who’s who of High Desert elected officials, were accused of misappropriating at least $23 million in state and federal funds.

According to Innovative Academies’ LinkedIn page, the company was founded in 2012 and was a privately held company employing 11-50 employees. The company page links to nine user profiles in the United States, Taiwan and mainland China. The company’s specialties are described as “dual diploma program, globalization, education management, and English learning.”

“Innovative Academies’ ‘Learning Network Platform’ provides a simple solution for U.S. private schools to offer a dual diploma program to students globally, thus providing them with daily practice of their English in an academic setting, while earning a second high school diploma from an elite private school in the United States,” the company’s LinkedIn profile reads in part.

But the Innovative Academies effort didn’t pan out.

“I haven’t done it in a couple of years,” Honeycutt said. “I just didn’t have the resources.”

The company’s website, InnovativeAcadamies.org, is a dead link. But a search of the domain registration shows that the URL is still active, and Ted Viera is listed as the administrative contact.

Representatives of the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office could not be reached for comment Friday.

To read expanded article, click here.