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Improper Purchases Made by Medina City School's Superintendent
Columbus – A review released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost confirmed that the superintendent of the Medina City School District misused public funds – including new revelations of buying more than $2,300 in gift cards to restaurants and specialty food stores.
Findings for recovery totaling more than $4,100 were issued against Superintendent Randolph Stepp in the agreed-upon procedures report.
“When public officials gain a sense of entitlement, this sort of bad spending follows,” Auditor Yost said. “I am eagerly awaiting the rest of the facts from the U. S. Department of Education about his personal school loans.”
Auditors found that during the audit period of July 1, 2005 through March 31, 2013, there were eight instances where expenditures totaling $4,121 did not appear to have a proper public purpose. Checks written by Superintendent Stepp for the purchase of $1,410 in restaurant gift cards and $900 in specialty food gift cards did not have documentation stating the business purpose of the purchase. The report also identifies that Stepp received excessive travel reimbursements totaling $1,573.
Additional testing identified payment in the amount of $172,011 was made to the U.S. Department of Education for the superintendent’s student loan balances. At this time, the Auditor of State’s office is awaiting additional information from the U.S. Department of Education. An addendum to this report will be issued by the Auditor of State’s office when that information is received.
Auditors were unable to determine whether all or a portion of the $172,011 payment to the U.S. Department of Education for the superintendent’s student loan balances should have been reported on the superintendent’s W-2 as income. This matter is being referred to the Internal Revenue Service.
The report also reviewed payments made by the Medina County ESC on behalf of the district and found that the ESC issued 247 checks totaling $947,128 that were not posted to proper fund/account code, nor were they included in the district’s annual expenditure fund total for the proper period.
The purpose of the agreed-upon procedures conducted at the Medina City School District was to determine whether certain disbursements made on the district’s behalf by the Medina County ESC, as well as disbursements made to the superintendent by the district, were for a proper public purpose and made during the period of July 1, 2005 through March 31, 2013. This includes whether the payments were properly approved, adequately supported, and appropriately recorded and summarized in the district’s financial statements and accounting records.
A full copy of this audit may be accessed online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,800 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.