Chesterton Tribune



Cash misappropriated from Discovery Charter School's parents' not-for-profit

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The Porter Police Department has opened an investigation into “accounting irregularities” uncovered by the newly appointed treasurer and president of the Discovery Charter School’s Parent Advisory Council (PAC).

The extent of those irregularities: $60,000 “missing from fundraiser event deposits and cash withdrawals,” according to an e-mail sent to parents on Tuesday by Discovery’s administration.

The PAC is a volunteer not-for-profit organization run entirely by parents and not affiliated with Discovery’s administration, and PPD Lt. John Lane told the Chesterton Tribune today that no administrators or staff sit on PAC.

Specifically, PAC Treasurer Elizabeth Yost and President Lisa Gonzalez filed a report with the PPD after “discrepancies were first detected when PAC was preparing its annual budget and planning upcoming fundraiser events,” the e-mail to parents states. “A full external review” was then conducted and it was determined that “funds are missing from over a two-year span dating back from 2015 through August 2017.”

The missing $60,000 “includes multiple debit transactions that were charged to the PAC bank account for expenses that were not school-related,” the e-mail states.

“The person responsible for the missing deposits and inappropriate cash withdrawals and debit transactions is no longer affiliated with PAC and does not have any access to PAC’s bank accounts,” the e-mail further states. “A full examination of the accounting practices of PAC has also been conducted and additional controls have been put in place to help ensure that no further misappropriation of funds will occur again.”

“PAC is seeking full restitution of the missing funds and will continue its full cooperation with the authorities as the judicial process continues,” the e-mail states.

“We understand that this news will be very upsetting, but please respect the fact that the PAC officers and school board members cannot answer any specific questions at this time due to legal reasons,” the e-mail concludes. “We are doing everything in our power to move forward in a positive manner and are confident that the new guidelines will help ensure complete transparency about any and all financial matters moving forward.”

In a short statement released today, the PPD confirmed that an investigation has been opened. But Lane told the Tribune that he was unable to comment further on the status of that investigation and that, at present, no charges have been filed.


Posted 11/30/2017




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