Taylor Releases Performing Arts School of Metropolitan Toledo Audit

Former executive director and husband responsible for more than $119,000 in missing tax dollars, money must be repaid

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lucas County -

State Auditor Mary Taylor released a special audit today of the Performing Arts School of Metropolitan Toledo (PASMT).  The audit reports that the former executive director, Kari DiCianni, and her husband, William DiCianni, could not justify the use of $119,393 in taxpayer money.   

“As a result of a comprehensive review, we were able to successfully identify wrongdoing that was harmful to the school’s operations,” said Taylor.  “Misusing taxpayer dollars violates public trust and I am committed to rooting out this type of behavior in Ohio government,” said Taylor. 

The complete audit report reveals that William DiCianni, whose role and authority at PASMT is not clear, distributed paychecks to students that were larger than the amount justified by timesheets.  Students stated that they would receive their paycheck, cash the check and then return the money to William DiCianni.  He would then give the children a portion of the cash for their work.  It is unknown what the remaining money was used for and the audit states that William DiCianni could not account for $48,250.

Additionally, the audit findings show:

• Kari DiCianni and William DiCianni could not provide documents to support more than $42,057 in reimbursements from the school’s bank account.

• Kari DiCianni could not produce documentation to support $1,360 that was collected for a school fundraiser. 

PAMST closed at the end of the 2006 – 2007 school year.

PASMT’s sponsor, The Ohio Council of Community Schools, requested the special audit on January 30, 2007.  The special audit began on February 16, 2007.  Auditors reviewed financial information from July 1, 2006 through February 9, 2007. 
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 www.auditor.state.oh.us.