Former teacher owes $35,000

WARREN – The Warren School District is owed $35,000, according to a state audit released Thursday.

Auditor of State Dave Yost issued a finding for recovery of public money for the district’s athletic fund due to cash receipts that were missing, not deposited or incorrectly reported last year by Len Redmond, former teacher and faculty manager of Warren G. Harding High School.

Redmond was responsible for all aspects of the athletic ticket sales applicable to the high school as well as maintaining an efficient program of fund handling and deposit.

The district had alerted the state to the missing money, which resulted in investigations by police as well as the district. Redmond was terminated by the district last year and made a repayment of $11,384 to the district in October 2011; however, the audit found an additional $35,000 is still owed.

Superintendent Michael Notar said the remaining money owed to the district will be handled by the court and has been turned over to district attorneys. He also said measures have been taken to prevent misappropriation of athletic funds in the future.

“The athletic director worked with the treasurer’s department, and they put a checks-and-balance system in to make sure everything is accounted for. There’s a recording system to make sure everything is in place so it doesn’t happen again,” he said.

The state audit also reported that the district remains financially strong, has a sufficient cash balance to meet operating expenses through fiscal year 2014 and is continuing its plan to control future spending.

“We’re trying to be proactive as a school district, we’re trying to conserve the tax dollars as best we can,” Notar said, explaining that when he first took over as superintendent, a team was put together to look at staffing across the district.

Recent reductions to staffing in the central office have resulted in a savings of $500,000; the district is now looking to absorb staff positions in other buildings due to retirements.

“We’re going to look at staffing all across the district as a big picture and conserve the money as best we can. That’s our job and our obligation to the district, and we’re doing a great job,” he said.