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Investigation into Des Moines school district finds more than $204,000 in improper and unsupported disbursements

Des Moines Public Schools requested a waiver to move to online only learning again.
Des Moines Public Schools requested a waiver to move to online only learning again.
Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 9:48 AM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - Auditor of State Rob Sand on Wednesday released a report on an investigation that uncovered more than $204,000 in improper and unsupported disbursements made by a former employee of the Des Moines Independent Community School District.

District officials requested the special investigation due to concerns about certain financial transactions involving former Project Facilitator Specialist William Hinrichs.

The investigation was for a period from November 15, 2013, through February 28, 2020.

While working for the district, Hinrichs coordinated and managed projects involving repair, remodeling or construction at facilities within the district. Hinrichs was also responsible for approval for billings from vendors for the projects.

Sand’s investigation found $201,085.70 in improper disbursements and $4,219.96 in unsupported disbursements issued to Ja-Ra Enterprises, a vendor utilized for general labor services. In addition to billings involving material costs for facility projects. In his report, Sand said a number of purchases made were items not necessary or reasonable for the projects and included items that were personal in nature.

Sand also said it was not possible to determine if additional amounts were improperly pain to Ja-Ra Enterprises because sufficient documentation was not consistently available.

The report also included recommendations that the district strengthen its internal controls, including ensuring sufficient supporting documentation is obtained for all disbursements, and ensuring all employees are aware of and comply with the district’s employee conduct policies.

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