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State audit questions $577 in spending by local charter school

Administrators at Dayton Leadership Academy’s two charter school campuses recently repaid the school $577 for purchases of gift cards, tickets to Kings Island and a bicycle that were questioned in a recent state audit.

School officials said most of the purchased items were given to students as attendance incentives. But discrepancies and incomplete records made it impossible for auditors to substantiate that claim, according to a statement from Auditor of State Dave Yost’s office.

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The newly-released audits of the local charter schools flagged five purchases from 2015 and 2016 for “lacking evidence needed to prove that spending served a proper public purpose,” according to auditor’s officials.

Findings for recovery totaling $577 were issued against Dean of Students Eric Wright, former Executive Director T.J. Wallace and former Treasurer Tammy Emrick.

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Some of the names of incentive recipients listed on records did not correspond with any of the students enrolled in the schools, according to the auditor’s office. In one case, documents indicated that gift cards were purchased 14 days after they were apparently given to students.

Wright had been reimbursed for the purchases with the approval of Wallace and Emrick, but the board of trustees never signed off on the expenses, according to the audit. Emrick repaid the full amount to the schools on Nov. 14.

Check back on this page later today, as we are reaching out to school officials for a response.

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