Problems uncovered in Holmes County School District audit, says State Auditor

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – According to State Auditor Shad White, taxpayers in Holmes County footed the bill for an “adults only,” “B.Y.O.B.” party and overpaid a former district superintendent by thousands of dollars. These findings come as part of a routine audit by White’s office.

“This audit reveals widespread problems,” said White. “The public school students of Holmes County and the taxpayers are the victims here. As a product of public schools myself, my office remains committed to uncovering and stopping this sort of misspending.”

Notable findings from the audit include:

·         The district paid over $4,200 for a party to celebrate the passage of a bond issue that Holmes County voters ultimately voted to reject. The event was described as a “parent’s celebration” and “adults only,” “B.Y.O.B.”

·         The district paid a former superintendent a $170,000 in salary in Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020 even though the school board voted to pay him a $160,000 salary. The district also paid the former superintendent for relocation expenses in excess of the amount allowed by state law.

·         Auditors identified payments made to companies owned by the former superintendent’s relatives. These purchases totaled $14,000. This issue will be forwarded to the Mississippi Ethics Commission.

·         A credit card was used without school board authorization. Auditors identified 22 purchases made with this card without any itemized receipts. This matter – worth over $12,000 – has been forwarded to the Auditor’s Investigations Division.

For the full audit report, visit the State Auditor’s website.

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