State audit criticizes Liberty (Mo.) district finances

July 27, 2009
Report says poor financial management put district at risk

From The Kansas City Star: The Liberty (Mo.) School District has faced financial peril because of poor planning and poor choices by previous administrations, according to a state audit. Missouri Auditor Susan Montee says prior administrations overspent during times that were good and didn’t make adjustments during leaner times to accommodate what would happen. The audit concluded that financial decisions were made year to year without concern as to whether the district was going to be able to accommodate those expenditures in the future.

Earlier...from The Kansas City Star: Phil Wright, the former Liberty (Mo.) School District superintendent who has said he was forced to resign, has sued the district. Wright, who was superintendent from July 1, 2007, through April 14, 2008, contends that he resigned against his wishes after he refused to falsify documents. According to the lawsuit, school board members asked Wright to provide false documentation to the Public School Retirement System of Missouri to show that the previous superintendent, Scott Taveau, worked fewer than 550 hours during one school year and was paid no more than 50 percent of his pre-retirement compensation. In May, a judge ruled that Taveau improperly had collected retirement benefits and ordered him to repay the agency $245,000. Taveau subsequently was charged with felony stealing by deceit and attempted stealing by deceit. He has pleaded not guilty.

MAY 2009...From The Kansas City Star: A former school superintendent in Liberty, Mo., faces a felony stealing charge for allegedly collecting retirement payments he wasn’t eligible to receive while he served as superintendent. William Scott Taveau, 60, of Hudson, Fla., has been indicted on one count of stealing by deceit and one count of attempted stealing by deceit, also a felony. The first charge alleges that Taveau inappropriately received benefit payments from the Missouri Public School Retirement System.

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