Marcus Garvey Academy Audits Released

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Columbus - Auditor of State Dave Yost released today audits of the Marcus Garvey Academy, a charter school previously declared “unauditable” in 2010 with its state funding frozen in April 2011.  
Haphazard record-keeping and incomplete records led to $46,163 in findings for recovery and numerous citations and weaknesses issued in the 2007-2009 audits.
“This is barely better than shoebox accounting,” Auditor Yost said. “While the audits are finally complete, they are hardly reassuring about the fiscal or managerial integrity of this school.”
A majority of the findings for recovery were issued due to lack of documentation for credit card purchases and checks written. Supporting documentation allows auditors to verify that money spent by an entity is for proper public purpose.
Of the total $46,163, the following school administrators are held liable or jointly and severally liable for the following findings for recovery: Executive Director Ross Cockfield – $45,463; Treasurer Stephen Sites – $35,682; and Developer and Director of Marketing Alexandria Boone – $10,673.  Six other individuals and the Ashe Culture Center also are held liable for findings for recovery.
Other citations and weaknesses were issued due to insufficient attendance records and incomplete financial reports, among many others.  The Ohio Ethics Commission also was notified of possible conflicts of interest dealing with public contracts.
As of June 30, 2009, the Marcus Garvey Academy had a net deficit of $357,414.  The academy also was placed on the “unauditable” list on November 2, 2010 for their 2008 and 2009 records.  These audits effectively remove them from the list; however, the academy is still on the “unauditable” list for their 2010 records.
Marcus Garvey’s state funding was frozen by the Ohio Department of Education in April 2011 for failing to provide adequate financial records for fiscal years 2008 and 2009 within 90 days of being declared “unauditable.” Completion of these audits allowed funding to resume on May 18, 2011.
Full copies of these audits can be found online.

The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected 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