An investigation by the State Auditor’s office has revealed over $48,000 collected from events involving students in a southwest Iowa school district were deposited into bank accounts outside the district’s oversight.
State Auditor Mary Mosiman said the superintendent of Clarinda Schools started looking into the matter last year after learning of one such bank account tied to student activities.
“And it was determined that there were a total of 10 bank accounts that had been established and maintained outside of the district’s accounting system,” Mosiman told Radio Iowa this morning.
State auditors reviewed the bank accounts covering a period between January 2015 and May of this year. According to Mosiman, six of the 10 accounts should have been maintained by the district. Those bank accounts were administered by Clarinda School District employees.
“We identified that six of these bank accounts had a little over $48,000 of collections improperly deposited into the six unauthorized bank accounts,” Mosiman said. “Of those deposits, $6,200 was considered improper disbursements and $14,000 unsupported disbursements.”
Under Iowa law, money collected through school activities are public funds and should be under the local school board’s control.
“By maintaining bank accounts outside of the school district’s accounting system, there’s no opportunity for the proper review and approval by the school board for the collections and the disbursements,” Mosiman said.
The auditor’s report also found district funds were co-mingled with one individual’s personal funds in their joint bank account. While $48,541 was the amount documented in the report, it’s possible more district collections weren’t identified.
“We did state that because of the lack of documentation and available records, this is the amount of money that we could verify,” Mosiman said of the audit report.
Copies of the State Auditor’s report have been filed with the Page County Attorney’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office and the Division of Criminal Investigation. Clarinda Schools Superintendent Deron Stender issued a statement saying the district “has consulted with its attorney to take preliminary action to address identified concerns.” Stender added the district “has implemented controls, policies and procedures to ensure compliance with acceptable accounting practices.”