EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSCHOOL SUPPLY INVESTIGATION
from Eyewitness News Online
Board Implements Purchasing Program In Light Of Alleged Theft, Misused Money
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Mike Magee
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Apr. 30, 2012 10:23 PM EDT
Updated: May. 1, 2012 10:15 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Kanawha County School Board members are taking major steps to control how the school system's money is spent. It's an effort to regain control after a major investigation into the maintenance department.
On Monday, the board voted to move forward with a new purchasing card program that could stop it from happening again.
They say change had to be made in light of the recent failures coming out of the Crede Warehouse in Mink Shoals.
"We can control purchases by the day, by the time, by the amount, by the week, by the month," said Tim Easterday, purchasing director.
The board voted to adopt the pilot program at the maintenance department, using "P-Cards." They work very similar to a credit car. Eight to ten will be given out and closely monitored at all times. Restrictions will be set, and if they're violated, a felony charge could follow.
Saying Crede is "the doorway to the school system," president Pete Thaw says it's a step in the right direction.
"If you're going to put an alam system on your house, you're going to start on the front door, aren't you?" he said.
Board members questioned if the recent news of theft and misspent money could have been prevented with the P-Cards. Two maintenance supervisors have resigned amid an investigation that uncovered they bought four, $200 hunting jackets with school money. Five air conditioning units are missing, and scrap metal may have also been sold by employees.
"You've got to get a control, first on the buyers. Then we'll have to expand to get a control on who is removing property which will never be done by card," said Thaw.
Thaw expects more resignations, but wouldn't elaborate on why. He does, however, believe the extra oversight will go a long way.
"Do you think that there needs to be more control at CREDE right now?" asked Eyewitness News.
"Amen. We need more control, we'll need more control after the P-Cards. We've just scratched the surface. We've got to screw it down as tight as you can out there," he said.
The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office says the criminal investigation into the matter is still ongoing.
The P-Cards will be implemented in July.
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