Taylor Releases Southern Local School District Audit

More than $13,000 inappropriately spent; taxpayer money must be repaid

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Meigs County -

State Auditor Mary Taylor released an audit for Southern Local School District today revealing $13,765.26 in illegal spending.  This issue has been referred to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.  The audit, which was requested by the district, covered July 1, 2004 through August 31, 2006.

“School districts must keep a watchful eye on their financial resources because every dollar counts when it comes to educating our children,” said Taylor.  “I encourage all school personnel to be vigilant when it comes to education funds.”

The majority of the misspent money identified in the audit was paid to Debra Michael, the former assistant treasurer.  The audit revealed that $12,549.82 was used for Michael’s overtime and travel expenses.  Actions that led to this misspending included:

• Incorrectly recording overtime on timesheets
• Failure to approve timesheets by the supervisor
• Recording different mileage amounts for the same location
• Reimbursing for two meals with no documentation to support two persons present
The remaining inappropriately spent money, $1,215.44, was used for overtime payments to various other employees.  Auditors noted that there were numerous errors on district employees’ timesheets.  Other problems noted in the audit included:

• Labor contracts allow a $40 per day meal reimbursement for training or conferences.  However, the district guidelines only allow for $16 per day.

The Ohio Auditor of State’s Office is one of the largest accounting offices in the nation.  The office strives to ensure that all public funds are spent legally and appropriately and works aggressively to root out fraud, waste and abuse in public spending. Taylor encourages anyone suspecting fraud or misspending of public dollars to contact her office toll free at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364).

A full copy of the audit is available online at http://www.auditor.state.oh.us/AuditSearch/Reports/2007/Southern_Local_School_District_AUP_06-Meigs.pdf