CLINTON COUNTY, Ind. - The State Board of Accounts says a former school treasurer should pay back taxpayers' $24,145 in salary he was never entitled to.
According to an audit just released, Robert Lease, former treasurer for the Clinton Central School Corporation, received $24,145 in salary increases that were never approved by the school board.
The audit also found a slew of financial problems within the school corporation, including more than 20 overdrawn accounts, failure to advertise the budget, failure to provide a list of public employees to auditors, as well as improper credit card usage.
Auditors found a credit card purchase for a $2,236 hotel stay in Arlington, Va., and a $2,450 charge to the Asia Society, but the State Board of Accounts could not find any supporting documentation such as receipts and invoices.
The state said because the records were in such disarray, they required additional audit time and asked Lease to pay $1,731.91
The audit covered the period of July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2011.
Lease served until Oct. 28, 2010, according to the report.
In a written response to the SBOA, Lease said he does not owe a refund.
"I was approved for the salary increase to $45,000 a year," read the response. "Superintendent Philip Boley presented a salary schedule to the Clinton Central School Board at the September 8, 2008 school board meeting."
It appears the board at the time may have intended to give Lease only a 2.6 percent raise along with other staff members.
In a March 13, 2013 response to the SBOA, the current school board president and vice president said the salary increases to Lease were not approved by the school board.
"The School Board fully supports the SBOA's efforts to obtain repayment of these unauthorized salary increases," read the response. "In the event Mr. Lease refuses to repay the unauthorized salary increases, then the Board of School Trustees will fully support and cooperate in any civil action brought by the Indiana Attorney General's Office against Mr. Lease to obtain repayment of these sums."
Clinton County prosecutor Anthony Sommer said it was too soon to say if criminal charges will be filed against Lease.
"I just received a copy of the report," said Sommer.
Click here to read the audit and entire responses from Robert Lease, current board members and former superintendent Phil Boley: http://bit.ly/19LB5pi