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Audit: Former Wrestling Coach at Kenwood High Improperly Withheld School Funds

Press Release from Tennessee Comptroller of Treasury Justin Wilson, Feb. 24, 2010:

A former wrestling coach at Clarksville’s Kenwood High School lost or misappropriated money from fundraisers and equipment sales, an investigation by the state Comptroller’s Division of Municipal Audit has found.

The former coach sold students “player packages” with sweatshirts, gym bags and other items. However, some students complained that they did not receive all of the promised items. School officials eventually had to refund more than $1,000 to students for undelivered items.

Because the former coach didn’t maintain adequate records, auditors were unable to determine how much money was actually collected, how much was spent for school purposes and how much was missing.

Also, the former coach turned over to the school’s bookkeeper only a portion of the money collected from a candy sale and a cookie dough sale. Auditors determined that the fundraisers should have netted more than $2,000 above the amount the former coach submitted.

Auditors were also unable to locate two first aid kits, valued at $300 each, and a wrestling trophy that had been kept in the former coach’s office.

“It is always disappointing to me when someone in a position of public trust violates that trust,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “It’s reprehensible when that violation involves money intended to support school programs. Schools already have enough financial challenges during these difficult economic times without money being lost or misappropriated.”

“Instances such as this one demonstrate how important it is for teachers and coaches to keep and maintain their records involving fundraisers, school sales and donations,” said Dennis Dycus, Director of the Division of Municipal Audit. “Adequate record keeping not only helps to ensure that a school program receives all the money it should, but it also alerts school personnel, early on, that money may be missing or stolen before it is too late and thousands of dollars are gone.”

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