Shocking audit of Hoboken school spending, operations

Shocking audit of Hoboken school spending, operations
Friday, November 20, 2009 Jersey Journal

The Hoboken Board of Education released a scathing audit Tuesday that cited more than two dozen irregularities.

The findings included the misuse of candy-sale funds, incorrect approval of overtime, and the payment of administrators out of funds reserved for instructors.

"It was just shocking," said Board of Education trustee Maureen Sullivan.

The audit, conducted by Fair Lawn-based accounting firm Lerch, Vinci, and Higgins, covers from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009.

The auditors found that two teachers were each reimbursed $400 for iPods that were stolen from them while at work and the money was taken out of funds students raised through candy sales - money that was only supposed to be used for student activities.

In addition, overtime was improperly approved by consultants instead of employees, auditor Dieter Lerch said at Tuesday's ed board meeting.

Auditors also found that stipends to several employees were either not approved by the board or did not have other necessary documentation.

Sullivan said in most of those cases the work was likely being done, despite the lack of documentation.

"It is beyond my comprehension how such a thing can occur, and we will fix it and no such thing will occur again," said interim superintendent Peter E. Carter, who was hired in July.

Carter said he would present a corrective action plan at the next board meeting and has hired Robert Davis as interim school business administrator, replacing Brian Buckley, whose last day on the job is next Wednesday. Buckley resigned this week.

In other findings, several administrators were being paid out of funds designated for instructors and purchases of janitorial, office and other supplies were not put out for public bids as they should have been. 

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Comments (1)

I am watching
Said this on 12-11-2009 At 10:24 am

What is even more shocking about the revelation of the audit, is the fact the Board has allowed the principal at Wallace a beneficiary of the wayward funds to submitt an application to be the next superintendent.  Don't you think he knew that he was benefiting from the improprieties.  He is also being sued in Superior Court in Hudson County for discrimination.  Do you want to make thing better or worse for the children of Hoboken? The children deserve better. Certainly the teacher who would be working under him deserve better.

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