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PROVO — Thousands of dollars raised by Timpview football was never deposited into school accounts, and the limited policies and guidelines in place were not followed by coaches, the school or the district, according to an audit released by the state Wednesday.
A report by the Utah State Auditor's Office said there were problems with the way public and private money was handled, and neither Provo School District, nor the State Office of Education had adequate guidelines or policies in place to oversee fundraising, donations or booster club activities.
This is the third audit of the highly successful football program, and it was undertaken at the request of both the state's office of education and the Provo School District after money irregularities came to light.
"We looked at their report and expanded from there," said Debbie Empey, the audit director. "We didn't duplicate. We took it a bit farther."
- At least $8,953 in revenue collected from football activities was never deposited in school accounts.
- More than $60,000 in fundraising revenue, which belonged to the school, was co-mingled in a separate booster club account or in a private account. While most of the revenue made it into school accounts, at least $2,900 did not.
- The Provo School District failed to oversee four major construction projects. Numerous laws, guidelines and procedures were not followed or were done so inadequately.
- Because policies and procedures at other schools and in other districts differ significantly there is significant confusion related to fundraising and booster club procedures. The office of education and district asked for the audit because of several specific concerns, including the co-mingling of private and public money, the lack of oversight on the construction projects and the various expenditures for which there were no associated revenues recorded in activity accounts.
After completing the audit, Empey's report offers a number of recommendations to both the state office and the Provo School District:
- The district should consider recovering the public funds identified and implement adequate policies and procedures for the school to follow.
- Timpview High should implement appropriate district policies and procedures, including internal controls over cash receipts.
- Ehd education office should develop guidelines for fundraising and donations to aid school districts in developing policies that govern fundraising and booster clubs. The auditor’s office is currently reviewing a sample of schools in other districts in the state and is finding similar issues.
I have submitted my resignation as a teacher and coach effective at the end of the 2011- 2012 school year. This resolves all disputes between the district and me.
The controversy cost popular and extremely successful head football coach Louis Wong his job. He was initially fired by the district following the district's audit and the state's investigation. He recently settled his grievance with the district by agreeing to resign if they withdrew his termination.
"I have submitted my resignation as a teacher and coach effective at the end of the 2011-2012 school year," he said in a written statement released by his attorney Elizabeth Dunning last week. "This resolves all disputes between the district and me."
Wong, who won four state titles and seven region titles in his seven years as Timpview's head coach, said he has taken a new job overseeing all of the personal trainers for Gold's Gym and just wants to move forward.
Wong is fighting to retain his teaching credentials this week.
While Wong said he had approval and permission for everything he did as head coach, no other administrator or district employee has been disciplined as a result of the findings. Former principal George Bayless has backed Wong's assertion that he had permission for the actions he took on behalf of the school and the football program.