Audit: School Board Clean

Problems began for the Dothan City School Board in July, when members voted to buy out the contract of Dr. Leon Hobbs, then their superintendent. The move cost the school system about $440,000. When pressed for answers, school board members gave News 4 different stories, the most controversial subject being District 5’s David Morales, who on July 26 said if an independent audit is performed, "I would say it would be so interesting, chances of people going to jail would be good."

After seeing that interview on News 4, incoming school board chairman Dr. Steve Stokes called for an investigation into all school board practices and procedures. The audit's results were revealed Monday night, suggesting Morales was completely false.

"The one thing I wanted to make sure of, to clear the air" said Stokes, "Is that in the audit [the firm] very clearly stated there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing, no evidence of any misappropriation of funds."

Morales was not at the meeting Monday, it would have been his last, along with outgoing chairman Jim Hemby and District 1’s Earl Jones. CPA David Parsons and his firm conducted the audit, revealing, at the most, some sloppy book-keeping on the part of the Northview High School Athletic Department.

The school system's Chief Financial Officer, Mike Manuel, describes the problems as, "Not getting authorization for a purchase before goods are being bought, not canceling inventories when they're paid, nothing major."

Parsons described the Northview problems as, "People doing things in the wrong sequence without prior approval."

But with an otherwise stellar rating from the accounting firm, Monday could mark the official end of the Dothan City School Board controversy, with new faces on the board coming next month.

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