Schoolhouse Beat

Alleged theft of district funds leads to charges against technology director in Ohio district

Joseph Palazzo, former technology director for the Cuyahoga Heights (Ohio) district, has been charged in federal court with crimes related to the theft of more than $3.4 million from the school system. The Cleveland Plain Dealer says Palazzo faces charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and wire fraud. Problems were discovered after the state auditor began combing through district financial records. The audit found that Palazzo had funneled district money to seven vendors controlled by his brother Dominick or friends of the family; there was no record of equipment or services being delivered. Bank records indicated that Palazzo got kickbacks on the transactions, according to the audit.

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