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State audit finds Northmont schools overpaid retiree

The annual state audit of Northmont City Schools included “a finding for recovery for public money illegally expended” in the amount of $2,756.

The state said the district overpaid a retiring food service employee by $2,756 for unused sick leave and “attendance bonus days.”

Under the terms of the union’s contract, Joy Eyer was to be paid for one-third of her accrued but unused sick leave upon retirement, plus a bonus day for each year in which she had the maximum amount of sick leave in reserve but did not use any sick time.

MORE: 6 local school districts reach national academic competition

Per the audit, the payout should have come to $3,051, but the district paid her $5,807. Eyer returned the $2,756 overpayment to the district in December, according to the audit.

The state audit did issue an “unmodified” or clean, opinion on the district’s basic financial statements.

But a second finding in the audit cited the district for “noncompliance and material weakness” in cash management.

MORE: 5 things to know about how teachers are paid

School districts sometimes receive advance payments on their federal grants. Federal regulations require schools to limit those advances to the actual, immediate cash requirements to carry out the program, and to spend those funds within five business days.

The audit says that in August 2015, Northmont received a $42,000 advance on a Title I grant, but expended only $9,000 of it within five days.

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Northmont’s response in the audit, attributed to treasurer Ann Bernardo, says the district stopped asking for advances on grant money last year, even before auditors recommended it.

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