More than $356,000 in mismanaged funds in the Rochester city school district, according to the state comptroller’s audit of the district.
“The auditors from comptroller Dinapoli’s office found numerous errors and the potential dollar value is of concern if you extrapolate and if you apply the error rate to the number of employees the district has, with 7000 employees and 52 different schools,” said Mark Johnson, spokesman for the comptroller’s office.
Johnson says that aside from systemic issues with payroll in the random sampling they did, there were also issues of the district not doing what they should have to get competitive bids, and overpaying both employees and overpaying for equipment.
“The Rochester city school district found that the payroll processes are disorganized, decentralized, not administered properly and we’re finding a lot of errors that are costing the taxpayer’s money,” said Johnson.
Everton Sewell, chief financial officer for the district, says this is a mischaracterization. Sewell says they’re not trying to downplay that there were errors, but adds the district has been working with the state.
“We’ve been in constant with the state comptroller and the auditors. The findings we’ve seen publicized are things we’ve been discussing over time,” said Sewell.
The comptroller’s office was quick to say this did not in any way seem intentional, but rather due to a lack of organization, and something that could become a bigger issue if not corrected.
“Greater oversight and establishing written procedures and making sure everyone follows those procedures would go a long way to helping eliminate a lot of these errors,” said Johnson.
Link to the audit: