School Secretary Fails to Deposit Student Tuition Money

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Columbus – More than $23,000 in student tuition and fees is missing from school coffers, according to an audit of the Salem City School District (Columbiana County) released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.

Former Salem City School District employee, Sherri Phillips, was the secretary and financial aid officer for the Hannah E. Mullins School of Practical Nursing (HEMSPN). Her duties included collecting and depositing students’ payments for fees and tuition with the Salem City School District Treasurer.

The HEMSPN receipt book contained 60 receipts totaling $16,230 from August 17, 2010 to September 3, 2010. This amount was never deposited with the district treasurer. In addition, several HEMSPN students provided auditors with duplicate receipts totaling $7,210 which was not deposited with the district treasurer.A finding for recovery of $23,440 for public monies collected but unaccounted for was issued against Phillips, in favor of the Salem City School District Adult Education Fund. The finding for recovery has been forwarded to the Columbiana County Prosecutor.

Additionally, the audit report contained a questioned cost of $23,850, issued because the district could not provide documentation proving financial need in the eligibility determination for a student that received Federal Pell Grant money. Also, the salary for one instructor was charged to the district’s Special Education Cluster fund in the amount of $16,244. However, there were no time and effort logs for the instructor, and a questioned cost was issued for that amount.

A full copy of this audit may be found online.


The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,600 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.

Carrie Bartunek
Press Secretary
(614) 728-7198