BY BUDDY NEVINS
Sometimes I feel that the only ones trying to cleanse the ethically challenged Broward Schools is Chief Auditor Patrick Reilly and his staff.
Although they work for the system, Reilly’s team has been fearless in pointing out waste.
They’ve done it again!
This time it’s not a lot of cash. But it is once more indicative of how some school employees violate the system’s own rules.
Auditors were looking at how cash was handled at 10 high school football programs during September and October 2012.
Earlier I wrote about how the programs played fast and loose with cash. That post is here.
In addition to the lax handling of money at games, auditors found some athletic directors were hiring their relatives. That violates School Board anti-nepotism policies.
In the probe, auditors found:
- The wife of the Athletic Director at one school was paid $940 as an “athletic events worker” for the year ending June 30, 2012. The same director also paid himself an additional $510 as an “athletics events worker” during the same period of time.
- The son of another Athletic Director was paid $905 as an “athletics events worker” for the year ending June 30, 2011.
- The daughter of a third school’s assistant Athletics Director, who was in charge of the “athletic events workers,” was paid $545 for the same year’s work.
- The wife of an Athletic Director at a fourth school was paid $230.
School Board Policy 4002.10 relating to nepotism forbids a School District employee from being “directly supervised” by a relative. It also forbids an employee from participating in “any personnel action” for a relative, including “recommendation for appointment, employment, promotion, demotion, advancement or evaluation.”
Noting the rule, auditors recommended that Athletic Directors or others in the athletic departments “refrain” from hiring and paying relatives.
No punishment? I wonder if a note is even put in their permanent record?
Reilly’s folks have only done a cursory study of one sport — football — at only a few high schools.
Athletics has a lot of cash floating around and a lot of freedom given athletic directors and coaches. For that reason and because Reilly’s initial audit found abuses, the athletics programs cry out for a more comprehensive audit.
For instance, one wonders how much of this nepotism is going on.
Are these four instances outliers? Or are they just the tip of the iceberg?
I’m putting my money on Reilly and his team to get the answer.