Education A National Roundup

Audit Says N.Y. District Lost $11.2 Million to Theft ‘Spree’

By David J. Hoff — March 08, 2005 1 min read
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Former employees of a New York state school district, along with friends and family members, spent more than $11.2 million of district funds on personal items, a state audit concludes.

After reviewing eight years of spending by the Roslyn, N.Y., district, the New York state comptroller’s office says it found that 26 people spent public money for cars, insurance policies, and mortgage payments. They also withdrew district dollars from automatic teller machines for personal use, according to the audit.

“Certain senior officials with the keys to the cash register went on a spending spree of massive proportions,” Alan G. Hevesi, the state comptroller, said in a statement last week. “The trust that is essential for school districts to do their job has been shattered.”

Last year, prosecutors charged three former district officials, including the superintendent, with embezzling $2.3 million. All have pleaded not guilty. (“Superintendent of Wealthy District Charged in Embezzlement Scandal,” July 14, 2004.)

Mr. Hevesi said the district’s new management is implementing the auditors’ recommendations to prevent further improper spending and reports its progress every three months. The comptroller’s office will audit the 3,300-student district again next year.

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A version of this article appeared in the March 09, 2005 edition of Education Week

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