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Elite Academy of the Arts Audits Identify $45,000 in Findings for Recovery
Columbus – Charter school officials spent public dollars on steak dinners and plane tickets, according to three audits released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“Theft from children,” Auditor Yost said. “It turns out the “Elite” in their name refers to their personal tastes when spending public money intended for education.”
During three separate audit periods from 2010-2012, auditors identified a total of $45,013 in findings for recovery.
Each audit contained unsupported expenditures, including purchases from Walmart, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and US Airways – totaling $18,100. Findings for recovery were issued against the academy’s treasurer, David Schneider, who authorized the expenditures.
The audit also shows the academy contracted with Greater Educational Service Center for management services at a monthly fee of 15 percent of its general operating revenue. In 2010 and 2011, the academy overpaid its management fees by $8,951 and $16,246, respectively. Findings for recovery, totaling $25,197, were issued against Elijah Scott, superintendent of the academy and owner of Greater Educational Service Center.
An additional finding was issued against Scott in the amount of $1,716 for receiving duplicate reimbursements from the academy.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,800 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.