June 30, 2020
Richard Allen Academy Community Schools Overpay $863,343
Columbus – Auditor of State Keith Faber’s office today released the FY 2017 audits for Richard Allen Academy Community School (Montgomery County), Richard Allen Academy II Community School (Montgomery County), Richard Allen Academy III Community School (Butler County), and Richard Allen Preparatory Academy Community (Montgomery County) which included two findings for recovery totaling $863,343.
In addition to multiple non-compliance and material weakness findings – many that have been identified in prior audits as well – auditors issued two findings for recovery for the misspending of tax dollars.
In a management agreement between Richard Allen Schools and the Institute of Management Resources, Inc. (IMR), School agreed to pay IMR 94% of the total state aid and all pass-through federal and state grant funding as well as all school lunch revenues. IMR agreed to pay each school funds to cover its expenses up to $57,000 if the state aid retained by School was less than $57,000. The schools did not make payments to IMR in accordance with the agreement and by the time the school cancelled its contract effective July 31, 2017, they had overpaid management fees by the following amounts:
Richard Allen Academy Community School $139,277
Richard Allen Academy II Community School $613,870
Richard Allen Academy III Community School $15,686
Richard Allen Preparatory Academy Community School $83,785
That brought their total overpayment to IMR to $852,618.
There is no indication that the schools collected on any of these overpayments to IMR.
Because they supervised the accounts from which the improper payments were made, a finding for recovery was jointly and severally issued against Brian Adams, Treasurer and board members Alphonse Allen, Michael Brown, Gerald Cooper, Laquetta Cortner, Wanda Mills, Lonnie Norwood, Rhonda Ragland and Kelli Vaughn in the amount of $852,618 and in favor of the Richard Allen Academy Community Schools’ General Fund. Brian Adam’s bonding company is the Western Surety Company.
A second finding was related to the overpayment of board members.
The governing board was shared by all four Richard Allen Schools during fiscal year 2017. One board meeting was held to discuss all four schools and the board kept one set of minutes. The board of a community school may compensate its members attending a meeting. However, no individual shall be compensated more than $125 per meeting or $5,000 per year.
Despite the one meeting for all four schools and the shared governance structure, the board members were paid by each school for their attendance of a single board meeting creating an overpayment of $10,725.
A finding for recovery for public money illegally expended in the following amounts was issued against the following individuals in favor of Richard Allen Academy Community School, Richard Allen
Academy II Community School, Richard Allen Academy III Community School, and Richard Allen Preparatory Academy Community:
Alphonse Allen $1,375
Michael Brown $1,100
Gerald Cooper $1,375
Laquetta Cortner $1,375
Wanda Mills $1,375
Lonnie Norwood $1,375
Rhonda Ragland $1,375
Kelli Vaughn $1,375
Total Overpayment $10,725
Brian Adams, Treasurer, supervised the accounts from which the improper payments were made making the finding jointly and severally against Brian Adams in the amount of $10,725.
The school objected to both findings.
The reports are available online.