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Audit: Basketball Coach Spent $500 on Prohibited Alcohol Purchase for Fundraiser
Columbus – A high school basketball coach has repaid $500 to the Norwood City School District (Hamilton County) after a state audit found he spent public funds on alcohol for a 2017 fundraiser.
A financial audit of the district released today names Peter Zestermann as the purchaser of the alcohol. Zestermann, coach of the boys varsity basketball team, made the purchase for a trivia night fundraiser benefiting the boys basketball program. State law prohibits the use of public funds to buy alcohol.
“The public’s dollars have to serve a public purpose,” Auditor Yost said. “Employees authorized to spend the district’s dollars should receive better training on how to differentiate between permissible and prohibited expenses.”
The facility rental agreement for the event lists Zestermann as the coordinator. He repaid the amount to the district’s athletic fund on Dec. 14.
The audit report also contains a finding against former Superintendent Robert Amodio for $16,750 that he stole from the district. The finding is part of an investigation that identified a combined theft of more than $60,000 from the district and its affiliated charter school, the Norwood Conversion Community School.
Those findings were also reported previously in an audit of the charter school released earlier this month.
After pleading guilty to theft in office in November, Amodio was sentenced on Jan. 4 to two years of probation and ordered to pay $63,004 in restitution. The school district received a full repayment on the same day.
A full copy of this report is available online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 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.