A special investigation has found the girls’ basketball program and the Activities Department at Des Moines Roosevelt High School was using two bank accounts that improperly handled more than one million dollars in funds.
State Auditor Mary Mosiman says the issue first came to light when a parent questioned the handling of funds by girls basketball coach Chris Cundiff. Mosiman says a parent contacted the district’s internal audit department after checks from a free-throw fundraiser in November of 2014 had been deposited to an account at a local bank. She says the school determined the money went into an account created by Cundiff.
“During the course of an internal investigation, the school determined that there was also an activity checking account which had initially been maintained by a parent of the Riders booster club,” Mosiman says. “However, the account had been maintained over the last several years by the school’s activities department, rather than the booster club.”
Mosiman says the money should have been in an account overseen by the school district, and that made the other two counts improper. “Collectively we identified a little over $1.8 million of collections which improperly been deposited into these two unauthorized accounts. The collections included donations and proceeds from fundraisers from various sports at Roosevelt High School,” according to Mosiman.
She says some of the money in the account held by Cundiff was spent on the proper things. “There was a little over $19,000 improperly deposited into the account,” Mosiman says, “and of the disbursements from the account, a little over $8,600s was improper, $326 was unsupported. But $10,705 was considered reasonable for the girls’ basketball program.”
She says the majority of the money from other account also appears to have been spent properly. Mosiman says some $303,000 was unsupported, but around one-point-one millions dollars was deemed as being reasonably spent for the high school.
Mosiman says the problem is the outside accounts did not provide any district oversight on the spending. “And specifically for the larger account — those improper disbursements — a lot of them had to do with paying coaches and things like that. But by not having it run through the district’s payroll or payable system the proper tax accounting was not allowed to take place for either coaches who were employees of the system or coaches who had contracts,” Mosiman says.
The report says Cundiff resigned his coaching and teaching positions on June 4th, 2015. According to District Cundiff completed all the requirements of his contract and was paid through the end of his contract on August 31st, 2015. The information from the investigation was turned of the the DCI and Polk County Attorney.