A State Board of Accounts investigation concluded a former Clay Middle School employee misappropriated thousands of dollars from the school between 2016 and 2021.
The employee, identified in the SBOA report as Aletta Nowlin, worked as an administrative assistant at Clay Middle School from July 2012 until her termination in 2021. She also served as the building treasurer. The report states that Nowlin’s actions cost CCS nearly $224,000 through unauthorized credit card purchases, unaccounted funds, late fees and other costs.
CCS Director of Community Relations Emily Bauer said CCS provided the Indiana State Police with results of the audit for investigation. Current has reached out to ISP for additional information on the investigation and whether criminal charges will be filed.
Nowlin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to an email sent Oct. 18 by the school district to community members, CCS reported financial irregularities it discovered to the SBOA two years ago, which led to the investigation.
“It is disappointing to find out that any employee of a school system has taken money and while we are limited in discussing the case due to it being an ongoing investigation, we want to assure our families that we have increased staff training and implementation of internal controls across the district to prevent future incidents,” the email stated.
According to the audit report, which was released in March 2022, SBOA found that between 2017 and 2020 there were 93 instances involving Clay Middle School where athletic events occurred and corresponding gate collections were not receipted or deposited. It discovered nearly 50 concessions proceeds that also were not receipted or deposited. During the COVID-19 pandemic, none of the gate collections or concessions at 21 athletic events were receipted or deposited. The audit concluded $73,558 was not accounted for.
The report also states that more than $58,000 was not deposited in relation to non-athletic extracurricular activities during the investigation period. An additional $18,976 was collected but not accounted for tied to field trips and fundraisers.
Nowlin is accused of using a school credit card to spend nearly $54,000 on unauthorized purchases that included gift cards, gasoline, groceries, clothes, household items, jewelry and more.
CCS officially responded to SBOA regarding the audit report on March 30, 2022, through a letter from Associate Superintendent Roger McMichael, who oversees district finances.
“Through this audit process it was determined compliance of internal controls and lack of oversight were the major deficiencies,” McMichael stated. “As a response, formal training has been conducted with all necessary staff to ensure understanding of the internal controls.”
The letter also states that CCS would schedule periodic audits for additional oversight.