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Morris Co. Supt. under scrutiny for misuse of COVID relief funds

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – The Morris County School District is evaluating the performance of its superintendent, amid allegations that he misused COVID relief funds.

The $417 district school board held an executive session Tuesday night, a closed-door meeting scheduled to evaluate Dr. Aaron Dody.

Dody is in the spotlight after using a federal grant to purchase two vehicles for the district when the grant required the grant to be used on a lease agreement. Dody said he followed the law while making a business decision for the district.

April Swartz, an independent auditor for Varney & Associates, described the district as lacking oversight and authority during a February 13 board meeting. She recommended several actions, including seeking board approval for each transaction, hiring a local attorney on the board, and reviewing bank reconciliations performed by the Business Manager.

“We believe there are serious shortcomings in the control of the district,” Swartz explained. “Management’s cancellation of control. We feel that while the district has control in some places, the way you are operating does not allow you to actually use those controls or the benefits of the controls that you have set up. This is what allowed this transaction to total $62,000 in one day without actual board approval. As a council, it is your responsibility to know how much is being spent in the district, and you need to know before it is spent.”

The district issued a statement later in the week saying, “When concerns regarding financial practices in the district came to our attention, we acted quickly to investigate them. We recognize that we have room to grow in this area and that you are entrusting us not only with the education of your students, but also with being fiscally responsible stewards of public funds.”

13 NEWS contacted the district regarding additional details or any outcome of Tuesday night’s meeting.

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