Western School District says it investigated questionable spending at school

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Ross Elliott, the Western School District's director of education, says a police investigation has deemed no charges were warranted and the school district is still pursuing the recovery of items referred to in the province's auditor general's report.

The Western School District says it is still pursuing legal avenues to recover items that have gone missing from a school within its jurisdiction that has had some of its spending practices singled out by the province’s Office of the Auditor General.

The auditor general’s report does not name the school and Ross Elliott, the district’s director of education, also refused to identify which school it was when asked Thursday.

Elliott did say the discrepancies in spending were initially the focus of an internal investigation and that the RCMP was subsequently involved, but no criminal charges were warranted. Still unaccounted for are two LCD high-definition TVs, another television, three VCRs, three DVD players, a digital camera, a desk, a laptop computer, an artificial plant, a storage cube and a wicker chair set.

Over a period of six fiscal years, there were also 11 instances of liquor purchases for school functions totalling $700, nine instances of purchases totalling $4,200 not supported by invoices and $760 for gift certificates, donations and memberships for staff.

The principal of the school had a personal cell phone paid for by the district from September 2005 to June 2009 and the school paid the principal’s son $400 to perform routine tasks at the school.

Organizations: RCMP

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  • Just Sayin'
    January 27, 2012 - 15:47

    To "APARENT"...I would think you are correct with regard to the vast majority of audits...irregularities are often sorted out and straightened out with neither harm nor foul. Small one-time incidents can easily be the result of simple errors. However, I can see few ways to legitimately explain away years of salary overpayments, expenses incurred on non-existent vehicles years after they are gone, and many of the others issues exposed by the AG's report. This should be seen for what it is...very serious and in dire need of in-depth, independant follow-up!

  • HS
    January 27, 2012 - 12:55

    Just came across a quote from Mark Twain! "In the first place, God made idiots. That was the practice. Then he made school boards."

  • Shawn
    January 27, 2012 - 12:20

    Your point is well taken but when I see the words "School Functions" I naturally think that the kids are involved. What school functions could plausibly not involve any students and serve liquor? Are we paying for staff Christmas parties or something?

  • Shawn
    January 27, 2012 - 08:08

    I want to hear an explanation as to why the Western School District bought liquor for school functions. I don't want to be told that its just a discrepancy or that "there have been no charges laid". As a parent with children in this school system, and a tax payer, I want to know when, where, and why my tax dollars were spent on liquor for under age kids. I will not let this go Ross Elliott or forget about it, and I'm not alone. We want explanations and we want them now.

    • aparent
      January 27, 2012 - 10:03

      Shawn, I think you may have misread the article. I am pretty confident that the booze was not bought FOR the kids. Definitely this is a concern but to twist the words around will serve no purpose. In my experience with these audits, most of these items (hopefully all) will have a legitimate explanation.