State IG probe of former Manatee school officials closed

Bradenton, Florida -- The Florida Department of Education's Inspector General's Office has notified the Manatee County School District that no further investigation is warranted concerning the financial practices and activities of the district's former leadership team.

Superintendent Rick Mills sent a letter to the Inspector General's office on March 6 addressing concerns of the team's activities from 2010 through 2012 that left the school district in dire financial straits and requesting a full investigation.

READ:Mills Letter to Inspector General

Recent audits performed by the Florida Auditor General's Office for that time frame resulted in 44 findings amounting to more than $10 million in questionable funding. As a result, Mills said the school district faced persistent questions from community members asking where the responsibility resided for past the financial failures and wanted a second forensic audit performed of the district past finances.

RELATED:Superintendent stays positive amid financial crisis

It was at that time, that he contacted the Inspector General's Office for a more extensive investigation, however, he was denied. In a statement released Thursday, Mills said the school district accepts and respects the Inspector General's decision and thanked them for their work.

Mills continued in his statement by addressing how the school district plans to move forward:

"To prevent future occurrences similar to the 2012-2013 Auditor General's findings, the Manatee County School Board has taken corrective action to establish an Internal Audit function which monitors and tests systems and processes and reports directly to the School Board in public meetings. The Board has also instituted the additional over site of a voluntary Audit Committee who reviews all reports of the Internal Audit and makes recommendations for External Audit functions to ensure all accounts are accurate and verified. The Manatee County School District now has the proper internal and external controls in place to monitor, prevent and protect the district's financial status."

READ:Superintendent Rick Mills statement regarding Inspector General's investigation (pdf)

MORE:Manatee superintendent releases Economic Recovery Plan


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