Vestal would reconcile cash receipts and create a deposit report, putting the cash and paperwork in a money bag that was placed in an unlocked filing cabinet drawer in the Welcome Stadium office, according to the audit.
The next day, the cash and paperwork would be driven to DPS’ administration building downtown and included in a secure pick-up to the bank, with the receipt posted to the district accounting system.
But the audit says during those two years, there were six stadium events where the deposits matching the paperwork were never made.
The issue came to light in 2016 after DPS hired its own internal auditor, Randall Harper, to investigate potential improprieties in the district. Harper issued two reports in 2016 and 2017 detailing this problem.
At the time, Harper said an unnamed employee was paying the district for the missing money.
“The individual responsible for the funds at that time, I do not believe it was theft on their part,” Harper said in 2017, saying the unnamed person had just failed to follow procedures. “Obviously someone did steal the funds at some point. … If the procedures on timely deposits were followed, that could have mitigated this.”
Dayton Public Schools’ response to the issue is included in the audit document released Thursday, starting with their statement that the problem happened “under the previous Board, Superintendent and Treasurer” rather than current staff. They say the state has been investigating the issue for the past five years.
District officials pointed out multiple steps they’ve taken to “minimize such occurrences” in the future. They include creating an operations manual with detailed instructions for cash handling, requiring three signatures on deposit reports, installing a safe for overnight cash storage, and moving ticket sales online.