Representatives of the Cedar Rapids School District responded Friday to the report from the state auditor that a former clerk had misappropriated more than one-half-million dollars. The audit report shows former account clerk Jamie May withdrew money from school accounts and then tried to cover it up by using deposits for things like transportation and student registration. May was fired and charged with first-degree theft but the charge was dropped after she died of complications from cancer in November.

Cedar Rapids School District Superintendent Dave Benson says the district is improving internal controls. Benson says, “We’ve taken some what we view as obvious steps prior to the submission of the state auditor’s report because we thought that was prudent. Now comes the public discussion and the public guidance of further district action and that will be through the Board of Education. He says the district will likely hold a public forum to discuss the issue. 

“I think I’m satisfied that we’re moving in the right direction. I do not believe that we are finished with this by any stretch of the imagination,” Benson says. Benson says the district will probably recover most of the money through an employee dishonesty insurance claim.

The District’s Executive Director of Business Services, Steve Graham, says more money could have been misappropriated.”There’s really no way to know for sure what the overall losses would be due to inadequate records we have in this case,” Graham says. Graham says the district will attempt to recover the money from May’s estate.