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Dayton Daily News (Ohio)
For the second time in two years, an audit of Dayton Public Schools' athletic department revealed that ticket sale money has gone missing.
DPS Internal Auditor Randall Harper said Wednesday that $2,105 in ticket sale receipts from multiple basketball games last winter went missing and is now being repaid by the people responsible for overseeing the money.
"The employee(s) responsible for the event ticket deposits did not follow the district's policy, and the deposits were not submitted to the district's treasurer's department in a timely fashion," Harper said. "During this time that the money was un-deposited and not fully secured, it was misplaced or stolen by an unknown party."
Harper and other DPS officials did not name the individuals involved because the district "is still taking corrective actions to resolve this issue."
This comes on the heels of a larger case that Harper uncovered in his 2016 audit of DPS athletic department. That audit revealed that more than $14,000 in gate receipts from five DPS home football games in 2014 and 2015 went missing, with the culprits unknown at the time.
Asked Wednesday whether anyone was ever disciplined from that first case, Harper said he couldn't comment because the case is currently being investigated by state officials.
Harper said DPS athletic officials did a better overall job of following financial oversight procedures in 2016-17, Mark Baker's first year as AD. But several school board members expressed frustration at the repeated loss of money.
Sheila Taylor, a longtime member of the district's Athletic Board of Control, said, "For years there's been very little accountability for what happens in the athletic department." Adil Baguirov said the department is improving after being "in very bad shape for many, many, many years."
Hazel Rountree said the situation requires more than just the repayment of money.
"We've had the same department audited before, and now again they're in the same situation that money is missing or unaccounted for," Rountree said. "And I don't see any accountability."
Residents had similar responses, as Charles Kendrick called the situation "sad" because "you just lose trust in the system."
Also at Tuesday night's meeting, the board approved one-time payments totaling $29,377 to current Associate Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli and recently resigned Chief Academic Officer Markay Winston.
The meeting agenda originally said the payments were to "make the administrator contracts ... whole as a result of errors in processing the contracts." That language was later updated to say the board "deemed it appropriate" to pay Lolli and Winston the amount of their retirement plan contributions for the year, plus a $3,000 moving allowance for Winston.
Under the state teachers' retirement system, educators contribute 14 percent of their salary to their retirement plan, with the district matching that amount. Many local school districts, including Dayton, pay both the district and employee contribution for their administrators.
? The board also approved $300 to $350 per month business allowances to eight high-level administrators. The stipends are for job-related expenses and replace mileage reimbursements for travel within 100 miles of Dayton. They are automatic and do not require expense documentation.
Contact this reporter at 937-225-2278 or email Jeremy.
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