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Deceitful Westerville City Schools Employees on the Hook for more than $9,000
Columbus – Good management by the Westerville City School District (Franklin County) caught two employees trying to receive more than $9,000 in pay they weren’t due, according to an audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“To earn a paycheck, you’ve got to be qualified and you’ve got to show up,” Auditor Yost said. “These two employees broke the rules, and now they owe the taxpayers of Westerville.”
Unlicensed Teacher Compensation
Elizabeth Spaulding-Hitesman was a licensed intervention specialist teacher with the Westerville City Schools through June 30, 2013. She was required to complete additional coursework to renew her teaching license and keep it intact. On September 13, 2013, she indicated to the district that she had completed the coursework. However, by September 19, 2013, the district determined that she did not complete the required courses and was not properly licensed from July 1, 2013 through September 2013. She wrongly received two paychecks under the FY 2014 contract totaling $4,815.24 in gross pay. Deductions to the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) and the district’s medical program total $808 and will be recovered from both organizations. A finding for recovery was issued against Spaulding-Hitesman in the remaining amount of $4,007.
Sick Leave Overpayment
District employee Shelly Kulich took sick leave on October 16, 2012 through December 31, 2012. While she was on sick leave, she obtained employment with another company and began working on November 13, 2012. Her new employer confirmed her November employment date, but she did not resign from the Westerville City School District until December 31, 2012. The written signed document required by the board of education was falsified, and she was working in a new position without board knowledge. Kulich was illegally paid 31 days of sick leave, four paid holidays, and accrued two days of vacation that totaled $5,709.84. Deductions to STRS and the district’s medical program total $596.62 and will be recovered from both organizations. A finding for recovery was issued against Kulich in the remaining amount of $5,113.
A full copy of this audit may be accessed online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,800 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.