State audit: Former Avon schools employee mishandled $90K, owes district for investigation

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AVON, Ind. — A former employee for Avon Community Schools Corporation owes the district more than $140,000 in missing funds and the subsequent investigation to uncover them.

According to a report from the State Board of Accounts, Jennifer Mazur, who oversaw money as the extracurricular treasurer of White Oaks Elementary School, mishandled about $89,000 in school funds. The report said the additional money is the cost of the state’s investigation into the matter, which was $52,800.

In her position, Mazur was tasked with depositing receipts for various fees into the White Oak Elementary extracurricular bank account. An internal showed some discrepancies in the accounts, which the district reported to the Avon Police Department and the Indiana State Board of accounts last year.

Investigators obtained a subpoena to examine deposits made from July 1, 2011 to March 31, 2017. Mazur was placed on leave and eventually terminated in April 2017, the district said.

Avon released the following statement about the audit:

In 2017, the Avon Community School Corporation implemented internal audit procedures of extra-curricular accounts, which are no longer audited by the State. Through this voluntary internal audit, the School Corporation discovered a discrepancy at White Oak Elementary. We immediately reported the discrepancy to the Avon Police Department and to the Indiana State Board of Accounts.

The school district conducted an internal investigation, placed the employee involved on leave, and terminated employment on April 26, 2017. The Indiana State Board of Accounts has recently completed its investigation and turned the report over to the Office of the Indiana Attorney General and to the local prosecuting attorney.

As we have done from the beginning of this investigation, we are closely cooperating with law enforcement and will be requesting full restitution. Because this is now a law enforcement matter, we are not able to make any further comments.

The money included school fees, a book fair, the district’s pre-K Seedlings program and developmental preschool, according to the report.

The investigation found that the district allowed Mazur to operate “with little oversight” and determined that “internal controls over cash receipts were insufficient.” Internal controls, the board wrote, are essential to prevent, identify and correct errors in “a timely manner.”

The district has instituted new rules and policies to prevent such inaccuracies from happening again. Changes include additional training for staff and mandated internal audits.

The Hendricks County Prosecutor’s Office said it is reviewing the case to see if criminal charges will be filed.