Findings Issued in Closed Charter School Audit
Columbus – Undocumented expenditures made by the treasurer of the International College Preparatory Academy (Hamilton County) led to more than $4,500 in findings for recovery issued in the closed charter school’s audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“Checks written to himself and no supporting records – something looks fishy here,” Auditor Yost said. “When you’re spending the public’s money, you owe the taxpayers an explanation of what you’re buying.”
Ed Giese served as the International College Preparatory Academy’s treasurer during the 2007-2008 school year. During that time, Giese signed and endorsed $893 in checks payable to himself. There was no supporting documentation to determine whether the checks were made for proper public purposes. Giese also signed checks totaling $3,657 for items and services that lacked documentation. These expenditures were deemed to be improper and findings for recovery in the total amount of $4,550 were issued against Giese. All findings were repaid by Giese to the Ohio Department of Education.
The International College Preparatory Academy changed governing boards and sponsors for the school year beginning July 1, 2008. On November 14, 2008, the school’s sponsor, Educational Resource Consultants of Ohio, Inc., elected to close the school and its bank accounts were closed on August 21, 2009. Giese indicated that under instructions from the new board attorney, he turned over the 2008 records to the new governing board. However, Giese did not maintain documentation of the transfer of records, and auditors were unable to obtain documentation to support the 2008 disbursements identified above.
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 5,600 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.