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Former Principal and Athletic Director Admits to Theft in Special Audit
Columbus - A former high school principal with the Fairview Park City School District stole school proceeds and used public dollars to pay for personal golf outings according to the special audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost. More than $60,000 in findings for recovery was issued.
“Stealing school funds and hitting the links on the taxpayer’s dime puts personal interest over the students,” Auditor Yost said. “A principal’s golf carts and green fees should never be paid for by the public, and I expect the public’s money to be returned.”
In September 2010, during the course of a regular financial audit, officials from the district contacted the Auditor of State’s office to discuss potential theft of athletic receipts. In an interview with then-High School Principal Kevin Liptrap in October 2010, he admitted to taking money from deposits. On November 22, 2010, the Auditor of State’s office initiated a special audit to review revenue collections and deposits to and disbursements from the district’s athletic department account from August 15, 2006 through October 5, 2010.
Prior to his position as high school principal, Liptrap was the district’s athletic director. Part of Liptrap’s duties was to collect funds for high school and middle school athletic events and other student activities. Auditors found that deposits were not made for 93 athletic events where admission charges should have occurred. The district also could not produce documentation to support the deposits made with respect to student athletic participation fees. There were also discrepancies in the amount of revenue that should have been collected for student parking. Findings for recovery in the amount of $59,278 were issued against Liptrap for public moneys collected but unaccounted for.
In the examination of the athletic department accounts, it was discovered that the district made $4,355 in disbursements to the Sweetbriar Golf and Pro Shop in Avon Lake. According to the purchase orders submitted by Liptrap, the money was to go to practice rounds, golf bags, shirts and balls for the district’s golf team. However, according to the district golf coach and Sweetbriar’s director of golf, the team did not practice at that course and the golf fees were for Liptrap’s personal golf rounds and cart rental. A finding for recovery was issued against Liptrap in the amount of $4,355.
In October 2010, Liptrap resigned from the Fairview Park City School District. He was indicted on charges of theft in office related to the subject of the special audit on June 21, 2011. The case is pending.
A full copy of this special audit can 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.