Taylor Releases Chesapeake Union Exempted Village School District Audit

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Lawrence County -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor released the annual audit of the Chesapeake Union Exempted Village School District today. The audit reveals nearly $270,000 in questionable spending of federal grant funds and of that amount, the district owes the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) more than $56,000.

“Federal grants provide additional financial assistance to local school districts offering important programming to students. It is crucial that this money be properly accounted for to ensure future eligibility to receive federal grant dollars,” Taylor said. “I understand that district officials have taken steps to prevent future accounting errors and their actions should be commended.”

The audit shows that district officials improperly spent $269,991.17 of federal grant money because they either did not follow federal grant guidelines for purchases or they spent the funds outside of the allowable time period. Of that amount, auditors recommend that district officials reimburse ODE $56,289.96 for paying twice as much as they should have for employer contributions to the State Teachers Retirement System and the State Employees Retirement System.

The audit also found weaknesses in the management of federal funds, including:

  • Differences in the amount spent on some purchases compared to the amount recorded on the books.
  • Improperly carrying certain federal grant fund balances over to subsequent spending periods.
  • Not providing proper documentation for corrections made to federal grant funds. 

District officials acknowledge that errors in their accounting system are to blame for many of the findings made in the audit report. They also say they have taken steps to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future.

The Ohio Auditor of State’s Office is one of the largest accounting offices in the nation.  The office strives to ensure that all public funds are spent legally and appropriately and works aggressively to root out fraud, waste and abuse in public spending. Taylor encourages anyone suspecting fraud or misspending of public dollars to contact her office toll free at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364).