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Audit: More inappropriate practices, funds missing at Timpview

Published June 20, 2012 11:54 pm

Football • State auditor's office anticipates more reviews of school athletics finances.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Another state audit into Timpview High School's finances has discovered thousands of dollars in unaccounted football revenue, inappropriate use of school funds, and a lack of oversight by the Provo City School Distict on major school construction projects.

The Utah State Auditor's Office released the report Wednesday. It casts as much of a harsh light on Timpview and Provo district policies as on ex-football coach Louis Wong, who resigned earlier this month after being suspended and going through a lengthy appeals process.

The auditor's primary findings, based on records between May 2006 and February 2012, included:

• At least $8,953 in football revenue was never deposited with the school.

• More than $60,000 was inappropriately mixed in Booster Club accounts, and the school still is owed $2,900.

• Wong held a football camp at Timpview and received $1,060 for the cost of food, although the school itself received no revenue.

• The school district did not properly apply regular procedures and oversight to four major construction projects, including the $400,000 football turf and the $750,000 weight room projects, deferring to donors.

• School district procedures vary widely throughout the state, which leads to confusion.

The audit recommends that the school, district and the Utah State Office of Education strengthen their financial policies and procedures for more oversight.

"In these kind of situations, people don't know how to handle these things appropriately," audit director Debra Empey said. "We recommended that we need some better policies. It's likely the result of a statewide problem."

It will be up to the Provo district to determine how best to recover the missing funds, Empey said. Wong has not yet been charged with anything as a result of USOE's audit in March, but he faces a hearing that could put his teaching license at risk.

Empey said the State Auditor's Office is beginning another investigation into four randomly selected schools' fundraising practices as a result of the Timpview audit. State Auditor Austin Johnson launched the investigation, spurred by the notion that other schools could face the same issues as Timpview, Empey said.

School district officials, Timpview principal Todd McKee and Wong's attorney Elizabeth Dunning could not immediately be reached for comment.

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon —

Utah State Auditor's Office finds more problems at Timpview High

• At least $8,953 in football revenue was never deposited with the school.

• More than $60,000 was inappropriately mixed in Booster Club accounts, and the school still is owed $2,900.

• Wong held a football camp at Timpview, and received $1,060 for the cost of food, although the school itself received no revenue.

• The school district did not properly apply regular procedures and oversight to four major construction projects, including the $400,000 football turf and the $750,000 weight room projects, deferring to donors.

• School district procedures vary widely throughout the state, which leads to confusion.

Read a copy of the audit at: http://www.sao.state.ut.us/

Source • Utah State Auditor's Office