Melrose Principal On Leave After Audit

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(Memphis) The findings of an audit at Melrose High School have led to the principal being placed on administrative leave.

The findings of the audit have been forwarded to the state comptroller and the district's Labor Relations Department for further investigation.

The website for Melrose High lists Leviticus S. Pointer as the Chief Executive Principal, who has been serving in this role since July 2012.

While an annual audit of every school is normal procedure, certain concerned citizens and alumni made complaints of mishandled funds that led to further investigation.

The results point out "weaknesses in internal control," including lack of documentation.

In one case, money was first posted in the concessions account on Feb. 28, 2013, but it appeared that the purchase of concession items began on Aug. 17, 2012.

No records were kept for daily inventory. Audit officials estimated a possible $3,733 unaccounted for, in athletics and after school concession revenue.

A librarian was paid supplemental income of about $4,700 to coach a wrestling team, but the school had no wrestling team in the 2012-2013 year.

On a basketball tournament trip, the librarian received $2,120 in excess of the amount the players were supposed to be allotted for daily meals.

Audit officials also found the school had not paid sales tax on $18,324.42 worth of items for resale.

In many of these findings, the principal responded in writing by saying that some of the money should be repaid immediately.

In the case of possible missing concessions money, he said that receipts were in fact turned in to the Financial Secretary in a timely manner, even though daily receipts were not submitted.

While the audit states at one point that "school funds are being used for personal benefit," the principal responded that he did not agree with that statement, due to lack of evidence.

One allegation of a felon serving as a school volunteer, turned out not to be in violation of the school district's policy.

The audit reads: "It had been over 10 years since his conviction. The Director of Strategic Planning and Volunteer Services stated that a felony 10 years removed does not automatically disqualify a person from becoming a school volunteer."

Shelby County Schools representatives said that the new policies for the merged district are still being developed, so it's not certain if this policy will remain in effect.

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