Taylor Audit Reveals Thousands Owed to District

Friday, March 21, 2008

Trumbull County -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor today released the special audit of Liberty Local School District.  The audit reveals that the former high school secretary owes the district $4,888 for funds that were collected but never deposited in the district’s account. 

“I am strongly committed to ensuring that all public funds are properly reported, especially when it comes to our schools,” Taylor said.   

The audit reports that former high school secretary, Marcie Cohen, was responsible for collecting “Pennies for Patients” fundraiser proceeds, transcript fees and prom ticket sales profits.  Auditors identified shortages in these three areas as follows: $370 in Pennies for Patients, $964 in transcript fees and $3,554 in prom tickets.  Taylor issued findings for recovery against Cohen, indicating that the $4,888 should be repaid to Liberty Local School District.

The audit also notes that the district should comply with the Ohio timely deposits requirements law and consistently use fundraising financial reports.  The audit also recommends increasing oversight and documentation of funds collected by the district.

Cohen was placed on administrative leave by the district on April 19, 2007.  Cohen was indicted on two counts of theft in office by a grand jury on February 22, 2008.

As the state’s chief taxpayer watchdog, Taylor is committed to rooting out fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars.  Special audits are an important part of fulfilling this mission.  A special audit targets a specific area of an organization and is initiated to review allegations of fraud or theft.  The Auditor of State’s office is currently conducting 26 special audits throughout the state.

A full copy of the audit is available online at http://www.auditor.state.oh.us/AuditSearch/Reports/2008/Liberty_LSD_03-07_Special_Trumbull_.pdf.