Audit finds board members overpaid

Six members of Dayton charter school board had $4,350 in overpayments.

Board members at a Dayton charter school over-paid themselves by a combined $4,350 last year, according to a state audit released Tuesday.

The audit was referred to the Ohio Ethics Commission, which will decide whether several governing board members of City Day Community School ran afoul of state law by giving themselves a pay hike when they “filled in to provide administrative oversight and guidance to the school” in May 2014.

The audit says they were approved to receive $75 for each day they spent at the school, and were paid for board subcommittee meetings for which there were no minutes.

“No record of discussion or decisions — the meeting might as well have never happened,” State Auditor Dave Yost said. “The value to the taxpayer: zero.”

The most over-paid board member was Sheila Ballard, whose $3,225 in compensation for fiscal year 2014 and the three months preceding was $1,875 more than allowed, according to the audit.

Findings for recovery issued against Ballard and five other board members were repaid with a check from the school treasurer.

Calls to the school were not returned Tuesday.

The school is sponsored by Hamilton-based Educational Resource Consultants of Ohio. ERCO regional representative James Wilson said Tuesday his agency learned of the board pay practices when the former superintendent left last year.

“We let them know that was unallowable,” he said. “We’re working with them to cease the practice or to adjust it to where it is allowable.”

He said the school sought legal advice on how to make the subcommittee meetings eligible for pay.

The school at 320 S. Main Street in Dayton receives about $1.2 million annually from the state to teach 155 students, according to Ohio Department of Education records.

In the management response portion of the audit, the school wrote, “The Governing Authority has taken corrective action to ensure that all compensation paid to the Governing Board is in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code, Board policy and the School’s sponsorship agreement.”

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