Saturday, June 10, 2006

Dist. 158 board member calls for forensic auditor - 2 million dollars discrepancy who cares it is taxpayer money.

How much money is missing in your school and does anyone care? Probably not that is why voters blindly continue to vote yes on referenda. The following piece appeared in the Daily Herald.

Dist. 158 board member calls for forensic auditor
Posted Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Here we go again?

In light of concerns brought to light in an audit of Huntley District 158, board member Larry Snow said this week he plans to renew calls for a forensic audit of the district’s finances to determine whether district officials engaged in illegal activity.

Snow first called for a forensic auditor last year after all of the trouble caused by the district’s bid for a 55-cent tax-rate increase, and subsequent reports that the district’s financial team had bungled all manner of state documents.

Now, Snow said the time may again be right after reading the recent report produced by auditing firm William F. Gurrie.

In short, the report says the district needs to establish a procedure for tracking expenditures and reconciling the money spent with the district’s bank statements.

It took months for Gurrie representatives to complete the latest report, because there was a more than $2 million
discrepancy between the bank statements and the district’s own ledgers.

Board members have placed most of the blame on former fiscal services director Paul Halverson and his staff.

And although Snow has repeatedly said he hopes the district earns a clean bill of health from any forensic auditor, he also says it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Last time, calls for a forensic audit fizzled. We’ll see if this latest report adds fuel to the fire.

On the flip side: Board member Kim Skaja says Snow is something of a glass-is-half-empty guy.

Rather than focus on the negatives — and constantly blowing them out of proportion — Skaja said Snow should pay more attention to all of the good coming out of District 158.

To view the rest of the article go to the Daily Herald.

Jeffrey Gaunt covers school districts 300 and 158. He can be reached at (847) 608-2719 or by e-mail at

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