Local News

Wake School Board Finalizes Plan For Outside Audit

Posted August 2, 2005
Updated November 18, 2006

— Wake County school leaders want to regain public trust after recent scandals involving taxpayer money.

On Tuesday, a committee of school board members finalized a plan to hire an outside auditor who would review the school system's financial records and identify other potential cases of fraud. The auditor would also review recent accounting changes.

In the past two months, authorities arrested two former Wake County Public Schools employees who are accused of stealing money over a period of years from the school system.

In June, a cafeteria manager at Garner High School was accused of pocketing $200,000 over time.

In July, a former budget manager at the transportation department was arrested

in a multi-million dollar fraud scheme involving a parts company.

"Well, I think there are a lot of questions," said the school board's chairwoman, Patti Head. "I think all of us wanted to have an audit of the internal controls and make sure that nothing like this transportation scandal will ever happen again."

Because board members will ask the public for more money in an upcoming bond proposal, and with more arrests expected in the transportation department's case, they want the audit completed as quickly as possible.

"It has been a truly devastating experience for the board, for the staff, for the administration and for the public to have to deal with this sort of thing," Head said.

The school board is expected to vote on the plan to hire an auditor at its meeting next week.

Board members hope to have a company hired this October.

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