Under the Hat: Closer Look - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Under the Hat: Closer Look

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The report from the Pennsylvania Auditor General into the use of gift cards as employee incentives in the Millcreek School District just about screams that the whole situation needs a closer look.

In 2007 a request was made to investigate spending practices in the district.

Five years later, the AG report says that more than 90-thousand dollars was spent from funds earmarked for special education programs for the incentives.

It further states that more than 300-thousand other special education dollars remain literally unaccounted for and in some cases employees went into an unlocked drawer to take some of the gift cards.

Of those three charges, the current administration, which wasn't around in 2007, admits to two of them, the spending of the $90,000 and the unlocked drawer.

The district has agreed to reimburse the special education fund with general fund money, but that means there will be 90,000 fewer dollars to educate Millcreek's kids.

However, the district wouldn't address the missing money, saying it is part of an ongoing federal whistle blower lawsuit filed by former school board director Maryann Anderson, who was in charge of special education funds and used the gift card incentive program from 2002 through 2006.

 First off, there is no way that I could misuse my company's money without being questioned about it, certainly not for five years running.

 And there's also no way that the authorities would take another five years to figure out if I had done something wrong.

 The whole mess is now being sent to the Attorney General to see if any criminal charges are warranted.

I don't know every fact of the case but I do know that one place where taxpayer money is always well spent is on a thorough, independent audit of all public funds to make sure that money spent is money spent where it is supposed to be spent, each and every year.


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