330.689.5445 4350 Allen Road, Stow, Ohio 44224

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APRIL 16, 2019

Stow-Munroe Falls Schools Supporter:  You may have seen news coverage about the Ohio Auditor’s finding in a matter involving our school district. Here are statements from our Board President and Superintendent on this situation.

Statement of Kelly Toppin, President of the Stow-Munroe Falls City School District Board of Education:
We appreciate the Auditor’s work on the matter and the opportunity we were provided to address the actions that led to this finding.  Only recently did the Board learn that former Superintendent Russ Jones instituted an overtime reporting practice for his Administrative Assistant in an improper attempt to raise her compensation while not increasing her base salary.  We are disappointed that these irregularities were not brought to our Board’s attention in a more timely manner and are reviewing this situation with the administrative staff to make sure a similar situation does not happen again.
Our Board intends to work with the Auditor’s Office to make sure the District’s general fund is reimbursed for these and other payments.  We intend to work with the Superintendent and the Treasurer to make sure all administrative staff understand the District’s policies regarding overtime pay, the correct procedures for tracking overtime worked by anyone employed by the Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools.

Statement of Tom Bratten, Superintendent of the Stow-Munroe Falls City School District
I am in the process of reimbursing the District’s general fund for all of the expenses the State Auditor’s Office found I had claimed on my expense account without proper supporting documentation.  While the amounts involved spanned a period of three years, they were relatively small and claimed in good faith. I now understand that I should have taken further steps to provide accompanying verification for costs, even when those costs were approved by the Board.  I appreciate the opportunity to resolve this issue and want to assure the taxpayers of Stow and Munroe Falls that I have redoubled my efforts to be a good steward of the funds they have entrusted to our schools.