Not long ago, there was a certain bookkeeper that sat just 10 feet from Marla's door. This bookkeeper was involved in what a few people described as an elaborate scheme to siphon money away from district accounts and into her own pocket. I have always been troubled by the characterization of this activity as "elaborate". There was nothing elaborate about it. In fact, it wasn't even moderately complicated. The most complicated part was getting the cash out of the building.
In a nutshell, at least with the skimming that involved funds from Property Management, large checks would arrive from Edmonds Community College for their use of space at Melody Hill. Along with these checks would be bucket loads of cash from Food Service for all of the day's lunch sales. This bookkeeper simply deposited the checks from Property Management into the Food Service account and took the cash home. When I initially confronted this bookkeeper, I was told that I was new and that the funds would eventually find their way home. It never happened, they never did, the matter was reported and it languished in the hands of management.
At the same time, a highly-gifted budget analyst was already aware of the issue and forced others to act. This was apparently no small task. As I understood the matter, everyone quickly rallied to defend the suspect and they quickly dismissed the matter as improbable.
To be quite honest, I would prefer to have five of these bookkeepers working in the District than just a single executive director prone to crooked behavior. While a bookkeeper may take years to siphon away a couple hundred thousand dollars, a crooked director can gift ten times as much without anyone casting as much as an inquisitive glance.
When a bookkeeper skims money out of the public pocket, they leave a paper trail and knowingly commit a crime. The bookkeeper is taking a chance and being caught is only a matter of time. When a crooked director hands out huge checks to friends, they just have to fool the superintendent and they get a pat on the back for a job well done.
The bookkeeper case demonstrates a systemic problem where a string of incompetent people fail to, or refuse to do their jobs. The situation should have been prevented by utilizing checks and balances, but alas, people are just not interested in protecting public money.
The crooked director case demonstrates a lack of oversight by leadership. They are either dazzled by the hot air they blow at each other or just too busy "leading" the District to actually check the direction in which they are heading.
Fun Factoid: The state auditor never detected this skimming activity, because they don't actually dig around or investigate. They send an announcement - including the specific areas scheduled for a cursory glance - stay for a couple of weeks on the District's dime and then leave town after an exchange of pleasantries with upper management.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
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FUN FACTOID: Someone had XXX pictures (about 400 to 500 images) on there computer. But friends with someone in high places. ( incompetent leaderslip) The crooded directer is friends with someone in HR witch is friends with someone with (400 to 500 xxx images on ones computer).
This is a true story.
Why have others been fired over such?
Was this person prosecuted? I know of an employee who stole from the District, however it involved ASB monies; is this the same person? Just curious..... Thanks
Is this the same someone who went to Hawaii & forgot to turn in someones time when they both got back & blamed Payroll or is this the person who can't work 1 week with out being sick & can't turn someones time in & works for someone in HR or is this the someone who likes to sit at ones desk all day & surf the internet.
And whose credit card was stolen of her desk in the business service office?? Humm I think that was the then director now call Assist. Supt. Now that's a leader I want modeling for my kids!!Ha!
This "incident" not only showed the incompetence of the business office management (guess who?) but is a testament to the false security we have in the state auditors. Not only did they have to BE INFORMED of the theft, but their solutions (seperation of duties, two people counting cash, etc) have been all ignored. I am willing to bet my paycheck that fraud is still continuing, since nothing has changed.
Yes above, it is that someone, and her(answered to a classified ad to get the job) spouse. What a productive tandem, ouch! Hey I almost forgot to tell you......... Keep up the good work.
Does anyone know if the person who stole from the District ever served jail time for her theft? When will the proper authorities step in and investigate this careless behavior?
My understanding is that the person was sentenced to 13 months and served eight. There were other consequences, but I do not have details.
THANKS FOR CLARIFICATION ON THE JAIL TIME FOR THE ESD EMPLOYEE WHO BLATANTLY STOLE MONEY FROM THE DISTRICT AND STUDENTS. She was trying to keep up with the
Jones', true story.
Although a crime eventually proven by a budget analyst, the denial by management that this since prosecuted former employee couldn't have been anything but the picture of complete honesty contributed to allowing her to siphon for probably an additional year and a half after money was suspected to be disappearing. She was also allowed to come in the office before 5:30am and there is still no official opening hours for the District building. You can even report you came in at 4:30 and leave @ 1:00 since there is no one around early enough to confirm when your day begins. This certainly offers the dishonest person carte blanch. All of this reflects on the supervisor's inability to make decisions or act positively in any way.
Certainly this crime was in part due to the incompetence of this "supervisor" but he did not lose his job over it, even though it was the perfect opportunity to offload this blood sucking leech (for want of a better comparison) as he should have taken direct responsibility. There has never been any accountability for this person in this position.
I heard she is supposed to be making restitution, in the form of less than $20 per month.
Furthermore, the district advertised she only got away with 150,000, but it was really more like 750,000, but they (Manny and Margo) couldn't prove it and Marla didn't want the negative publicity. Why do the same names keep coming up when it comes to wasting taxpayer money?
For many, many months the "supervisor" of business services was alerted to missing funds by managers and staff of two departments and programs but he failed to do anything. This was similar to his inability to make any decision while "supervising" payroll over an employee that was double dipping and getting paid twice, for over a year! (even though he had been alerted to it). Oh yes, he was promoted.
Twenty dollars a month? Is this a joke? Sure hope they tacked on some interest!
When things that did not look right were brought to the attention of this person's supervisor, the supervisor was quick to defend her. Another person in business service stated that if it had not been for a certain person in the accounting office contacting the prosecuting attorney's office constantly that this person would have never been prosecuted because Marla dropped the ball on the entire case. Some think it was because of the school levy or bond that was due at the time and Marla did not want it to go down to defeat again because of bad publicity.
Interesting observation about an employee contacting the Prosecuting Attorney's office regarding the theft/embezzlement in the District, plus the fact that a levy was in the near future; it all makes sense now, however, does not EXCUSE decisons made by MM.
I stand by my belief that it is better to have a crooked bookkeeper than an executive director handing out millions of dollars to friends and being praised for doing so.
The school board has some culpability here too. If you believe Marla (yawn), the school board did not ask her to resign after this incident. Where's the accountability?
TO: esd.org; I have to agree with your last statement on this page about the Crooked Bookkeeper!
Never thought of it this way!
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