Former Central High principal responds to BOE audit

Published 4:51 pm Friday, September 12, 2014

By Fred Guarino
Peggy Grant, former principal of Central High School, issued a written statement Thursday saying she maintains “no culpability” and “should not bear the responsibility for accounting errors made by others,” regarding an audit report on the Lowndes County Board of Education, released last Friday, which included findings related to inadequacies regarding funds in local schools.
She said she will also do what is necessary to maintain her capacity as an administrator and her integrity even “if it means having my day in a court of law.”
Among the findings in the audit report:
“At Central High, a check in the amount of $350 was written to the now former principal (Peggy Grant) for startup change on Nov. 20, 2012. The cash was not re-deposited into the school’s bank account until March 18, 2014 when questioned by the examiner.”
“At Central High School, there appeared to be numerous alterations to receipts in the master receipt book.”
Also, “At Central High School, receipts totaling $1,951 could not be traced back to deposits results in charges against the former principal and secretary (Dorothy Williams).”
According to the report, in the opinion of the chief examiner, “the former school secretary and the former school principal have failed to show just cause why the unpaid charges should not be paid. Therefore relief from these unpaid charges is accordingly denied.”
And, “The charges remain due and unpaid, and, as a result, this report will be certified to the attorney general for collection.”
The total of $1,951 was “jointly charged” to Dorothy Williams and Peggy Grant.
In a written statement submitted to the Lowndes Signal, Grant alleges, ”On July 24, 2014, my attorney Chuck Smith and I met with the Examiners Office regarding the untraced deposit of $1951 that I was made aware of during an audit in October where the master
receipt book was reported ‘missing’ by the secretary and replaced by the Chief Finance Officer in June 2103.
“The start up funds used for change for all sports have remained at Central High School and used for sporting events. I left Lowndes County in December 2013; if the $350 was
ever deposited, it was done so by new administration as I have been in Tuscaloosa since January 3, 2014. “
Grant’s written statement continues, ”I was steadfast in cooperating and even requested a meeting to discuss the matter with the school board, which was denied. I maintain that I have no culpability in this matter and should not bear the responsibility for accounting errors made by others. Moreover, I am aware of the LCPS board policy which states ‘the principal shall be personally responsible for any funds, which cannot be accounted for that are not deposited on a daily basis.’
“The travel reports which are reimbursed by the district will reveal accounts of deposits being made on a daily basis.
“As an educator who is passionate about my career, and one who served Lowndes County diligently for 13 years; I respect the policy and will do what is necessary to maintain my professional capacity as an (administrator) as well as maintain my integrity as a lifelong resident of Lowndes County.
“I will do this even if it means having my day in a court of law. I would like for the (residents) of
Lowndes County to know that I served as an administrator in Lowndes County during the ‘eight years of successful audits’ as principal of Lowndes Middle School and Central High School respectively.”

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