Taylor Releases Horizon Science Academy of Columbus Audit

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Franklin County -

State Auditor Mary Taylor released the fiscal year 2006 audit for the Horizon Science Academy of Columbus today.  The audit revealed that nearly $400 was inappropriately spent on legal fees for an employee’s family members.

“All schools should be held accountable for the money they spend,” said Taylor.  “We are looking forward to our workshops to educate charter school leaders about financial record keeping and accounting practices.  It is my hope that schools like Horizon Science Academy take advantage of this opportunity.”

Horizon Science Academy paid $3,830 for legal fees to help a school employee and his family obtain non-immigrant expedited visas.  The audit found that the employee, Kemal Gezgin, is responsible for repaying the portion of the legal fees associated with his family since they are not employed by or enrolled in the school.  On April 12, 2007 Gezgin repaid $395 for the legal fees associated with his family.

Auditors also noted that Horizon Science Academy was using money received by the state to pay property taxes.  Ohio law prohibits community schools from using state funding for local, state, federal income, sales, personal and real estate taxes.

In an effort to strengthen financial operations and fiscal oversight of the state’s community schools, Taylor announced the creation of a new statewide training program.  The Auditor of State Community School Training Program will include a series of regional workshops held around the state this summer. The voluntary workshops will offer financial, accounting and compliance training to school sponsors, administrators, fiscal officers, board members and management companies.

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/Horizon_Science_Academy_of_Columbus_06-Franklin.pdf