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Secor Gardens Academy’s Financial Records “Unauditable”
Columbus – Incomplete financial records prompted Auditor of State Dave Yost to place the now-closed Secor Gardens Academy (Lucas County) on the “unauditable” list.
During the course of the final financial audit and close-out audit of the Secor Gardens Academy for the period ended February 10, 2014, it was determined that the condition of the school’s financial records were not adequate to complete the audit. In a letter to the school, the Auditor of State’s office provided a list of records required to complete the audit.
Within 90 days of the date of the letter, the financial records must be revised and necessary data must be provided. Legal action may be taken, including the possibility of the attorney general issuing a subpoena to school officials to explain the condition of records. The attorney general may also file suit to compel the officials to prepare and/or produce the required information.
According to Ohio law, upon notification of the unauditable status of the Secor Gardens Academy, their sponsor, North Central Ohio Education Service Center, is prohibited from contracting with any additional community schools. Additionally, within 45 days of the date of the unauditable letter, the sponsor must provide a written response to the Auditor of State, which includes:
- An overview of the process the sponsor will use to review and understand the circumstances that led to the school’s unauditable condition;
- A plan for providing the AOS with the documentation necessary to complete audit of the community school and for ensuring that all financial documents are available in the future; and
- The actions the sponsor will take to ensure the plan described above is implemented.
The Auditor of State’s Local Government Section (LGS) is available to school officials to assist in bringing records to an auditable condition. LGS provides a wide variety of services to community schools, including reconstructing financial records and assisting in the reconciliation of books.