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Education


Ohio's auditor will review some $300,000 in Medina school expenses
The audit request follows an examination of the superintendent's expenses by the Medina Gazette
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


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M.L. Schultze
 
Questions have arisen over hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses paid by Medina City Schools for Superintendent Randy Stepp.
Courtesy of Medina City Schools
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At the request of the Medina City school board, the state plans to audit a special fund that’s been used to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses for the district’s superintendent. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the latest developments in a controversy that now involves two public school districts.

SCHULTZE: State will audit Medina schools account

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Medina City Schools are on spring break this week, but that hasn’t stopped a swirl of controversy over the use of a fund held by the Medina County Educational Service Center. That is a separate legal entity from the city schools district. But it handles special accounts for the city district and other public schools in Medina County.

It’s from that account that Superintendent Randy Stepp has unilaterally authorized payment of some $265,000 to pay off his old student loans and to cover tuition and expenses for his MBA from Case Western Reserve University. The Medina City school board has confirmed that it authorized payments for Stepp’s degrees but has said it didn’t know the amounts.

The Medina Gazette has raised additional questions about whether the district may also on the hook to pay income taxes for Stepp on those payments. And it brought up new questions this week about other expenses the fund has paid, including $550 a night hotel bills.

That’s when the school board and Treasurer Jim Hudson asked Ohio Auditor David Yost to do a special audit. Neither Hudson nor Stepp could be reached for comment. But a press release from the district says it wants “a thorough review of all transactions” through the service center on the district’s behalf. It also says the school board wants the auditor’s guidance on oversight of the fund.

Yost spokeswoman Carrie Bartunek says the scope of the audit and time frame have not yet been set.

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