Friday, March 17, 2017

State auditor comments on sentencing of school employee who stole $100K

(From State Auditor Nicole Galloway)

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway released the following statement in response to the sentencing of former Waynesville School District employee Deanna House, who served as the Director of Food Services for the district.

"When public officials abuse their positions to benefit themselves, they must be held accountable, and the actions of this former employee represent a serious abuse of public trust and resources. Parents are often shocked to learn just how much cash is handled by school district employees and it's critical to have procedures in place to ensure funds are used as intended. Protecting student funds starts with eliminating opportunities for misuse, and Waynesville School District officials have since worked with my team to improve safeguards in place throughout the district" Auditor Galloway said.

House pleaded guilty to a Class C Felony for defrauding the school district out of more than $100,000. She was ordered to repay a portion of the stolen funds and serve five years of probation as part of a negotiated plea agreement.

Auditor Galloway released an audit of cash handling procedures at the Waynesville School District last fall. District officials requested the audit of the school's procedures for handling cash payments after they identified a discrepancy in financial records that led them to the embezzlement activities. Auditors will return later this year to review improvements in the district.

Auditor Galloway is currently working with the state's prosecuting attorneys to increase penalties for public officials and employees who use their positions to benefit themselves at the expense of taxpayers. Senate Bill 176, sponsored by Sen. Bob Dixon, grants additional authority to prosecuting attorneys and law enforcement agencies when inappropriate or illegal activity is suspected, and allows the State Auditor to assist in forensic investigations related to financial mismanagement or theft. This measure has the support of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and is currently pending before the General Assembly.


Anonymous said...

This lady and her office has done so much for Missouri she deserves a special recognition. I could suggest that she start an investigation into the activities and expenses of our beloved Governor and his "Veteran Help Fund" that has been reported to have used to help with his election campaign. I applaud the cause to seek more severe punishment for all forms of public office holders and workers that abuse the system. It is one thing to maybe eat a free lunch while running the cafeteria, but when you steal $100,000 like this woman and get probation that is another crime that has been committed by the court. I see it all too often that DWI offenders in McDonald County getting off with probation versus doing community service or making multiple talks to high schools about the danger of driving and drinking. Same goes for talking/texting on cell phones while driving. Restrict vehicle use to only going to work and returning or going to school and returning during actual hours a vehicle is needed. Embarrassment worked well in the old days when I grew up and it should be effective today.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:01

Well said!