Six former and current Montgomery (Ala.) Public Schools employees were named in an audit that indicates more than $700,000 in school funds was misused on items such as alcohol, payments to a strip club, a fictitious vendor and scholarships for an administrator’s children between October 2017 and September 2018.
As reported by The Associated Press and CBS affiliate WHNT in Huntsville, examples of misused or missing money included more than $40,000 that former Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School athletic director Chauncey Shines was accused of using for payments to a strip club, as well as purchases at a local bar, a gentleman’s club, online gaming and more. Shines is no longer employed at the school, also known as Brewtech, and did not attend a meeting to dispute the findings.
The release of the audit comes after the administrators were given the opportunity to dispute the findings with the Chief Examiner of Public Accounts. Two of the six met with the examiner.
In another athletics-related case, the audit accused former Carver High School basketball coach James Jackson of nearly $77,000 in unauthorized purchases.
Some of the missing money cited in the audit has been repaid. Carver High School principal Gary Hall used just over $2,000 to help cover the cost of state basketball championship rings and pendants. The audit states the funds used were not “an allowable use of public money.” Hall met with officials and paid back the money, the audit states.
The district has hired Arthur Watts as chief school financial officer in July 2018, toward the end of the year covered in the audit. “This financial administrative department wasn’t in place at the time” of the misuse of funds, Watts told The Montgomery Advertiser.
The district, which remains under state intervention, had given mandatory training to all employees who handle money, but reportedly will now offer such training to everyone.