Liberty Schools improperly transferred $100,000 audit finds - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Liberty Schools improperly transferred $100,000 audit finds

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LIBERTY TWP, Ohio -

The Liberty School District improperly transferred more than $100,000 earmarked for special uses according a newly-released state audit.

The audit issued by the state auditor's office on Tuesday found that the district transferred a total of $101,865 to the general fund from nine special revenue funds.

According to the audit, transfers from special revenue funds are generally not allowed by Ohio law except in certain circumstances, and none of the transfers fell under those circumstances.

The district repaid the nine special revenue funds from the general fund on March 25, according to the audit.

Superintendent Joseph Nohra tells 21 News that the schools thought they had permission to transfer the funds,but learned later there were other steps that should have been taken first.

The school district issued the following statement:

Once the district was made aware of additional requirements necessary, the district’s new treasurer immediately corrected the error by transferring all of the money back to the original funds. The financial statements have been adjusted to eliminate the initial transfers from the special revenue funds to the general fund.

Nohra says the fund transfer has nothing to do with the March 4 search by investigators from the state auditor's office who inspected records at every school district in the Liberty School District. Nohra says that on the advice of legal counsel, he can't comment on the purpose of that search.

The state audit also found that the financial future of the School District will continue to face challenges stemming from issues that are at both the local and State levels.

The local challenges will continue to exist, since the school district must rely heavily on property taxes to fund its operations, according to the audit.

“Due to the unsettled issues in school funding, management is required to plan carefully and prudently to provide the resources to meet student needs over the next several years,” the audit concluded.

The audit may be read here

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