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Auditors critical of Lake Central expenditure on referendum

Updated: April 25, 2013 8:21PM



State auditors criticized a referendum donation from Lake Central High School’s extracurricular account in 2011.

The $5,124 donation came from the athletic fund of the account, according to a State Board of Accounts audit released last week. The donation was given to the Friends of Lake Central Schools in October 2011. That fall, the group campaigned to support a $160 million construction referendum at Lake Central High School and Protsman Elementary School. The referendum passed.

The donation was reimbursed in February 2012, but a State Board of Accounts audit said the donation didn’t comply with statute.

“The School Corporation could not expend money from a fund to support a position on the referendum; disbursements from Extra-Curricular Accounts fall under this statute since the disbursement could be subject to review by the School Board,” the audit said.

According to Indiana Code 6-1.1-20-10.1, “the political subdivision seeking to issue bonds or enter into a lease for the proposed controlled project may not promote a position on the local public question by doing any of the following: ... (2) Making an expenditure of money from a fund controlled by the political subdivision to promote a position on the local public question.”

Elsewhere in the audit — which covers the period between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2012 — auditors noted that the district failed to gain school board approval for $58,856 in expenditures from the athletic fund. Items purchased included scoreboards, Honda and Subaru carts, and iPads.

Also, the report noted that receipts were not always deposited within a reasonable time, based upon the volume of collections received by the Lake Central High School extracurricular treasurer. Receipts were usually deposited every seven to eight days, and they sometimes accumulated to more than $90,000 before a deposit was made.

On Dec. 4, 2012, the State Board of Accounts met with Director of Business Services Robert James, School Board President Howard Marshall Jr. and Superintendent Lawrence Veracco. The report said officials indicated that they would respond to the report, but an official response was not received.

Veracco did not return a phone message left Wednesday.



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