Columbus – The former school treasurer was absent from work 42 times without using leave, according to an audit of the Northwest Local School District (Scioto County) released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost. More than $11,000 in findings for recovery was issued.
“She played hooky on the taxpayers’ dime,” Auditor Yost said. “If you want to get paid, you at least have to show up for work.”
From January 1, 2010 through November 4, 2011, Karen Morrow served as treasurer for the Northwest Local School District. During this period, Morrow was required to notify the district office when she was absent from work or attending meetings away from the office. District officials record absences on a calendar.
On 21 occasions, Morrow was listed absent on the calendar for reasons such as illness, doctor appointments or vacation, but no leave was used. In five instances, she was listed as out at a location, but no mileage was claimed. Meetings were cited as the cause of four absences; however, the meeting sponsors indicated she was not in attendance. Twelve times she was listed on the calendar as out, but no mileage was claimed or leave used.
Morrow received wages in the total amount of $11,155 for the unexcused absences. A finding for recovery was issued against Morrow in this amount for public monies illegally expended.
Morrow was placed on administrative leave effective November 7, 2011, and the Northwest Local School District filed charges for theft in office on November 11, 2011. She resigned from her position on December 20, 2011 in lieu of termination.
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 5,600 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.