Steve Green begins his second year in the DeKalb County school system with a plan to change the way teaching and administering get done.

Unauthorized buys mean docked pay for some DeKalb school employees

DeKalb County’s school system discovered some coaches, staff and volunteers at Martin Luther King Jr. High School were ordering supplies, such as uniforms, without school authorization, and now will dock paychecks of employees to get up to $66,000 back.

Superintendent Steve Green said he got word last spring that he ought to check into unauthorized spending at the school, and he assigned his staff auditor to investigate.

An audit revealed that some sponsors and coaches, without knowledge of the principal, were ordering materials such as uniforms and invoicing the school, Green said.

“And those individuals who were part of our staff who agreed to these transactions without the approval of the principal, the repayment is being addressed through their payroll checks,” Green said.

Recovering money from volunteers who were not school employees could be more difficult, he said. He has consulted with school attorneys.

The school has been put on a status that does not allow any spending without approval from Green’s office.

“Not a cent can be spent without my office knowing about it,” he said.

One person was fired and one resigned. Twelve others were involved.

Green said that the outstanding balance of unapproved purchases at its highest was about $83,000. Some of that has been paid down.

“I made it very clear to individuals, sponsors as well as coaches, if you take it upon yourself to receive materials and goods, you need to ship that back without opening the package. If you receive it, it is yours and you are accountable for paying for that invoice,” he said.

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