District Five audit uncovers millions in questionable spending

The recently released phase II report focused on purchases for the district’s newest school, Piney Woods Elementary School (PWES) and cites issues including nearly $1 million in contingencies belonging to the district reported as being apparently redirected to the contractor’s labor and not returned to the district and over $300,000 billed to the district for an apparent “ghost” subcontractor.

In addition, the audit cites key green building construction provisions were removed without any decrease in price, unapproved movement of funds between categories, questionable vendor contributions to former members of the school board, apparent conflicts of interest with construction vendors, inappropriate meetings with vendors, and failure to follow South Carolina law.

I hope other people will read this report. It is a true eye opener. You can find it on the home page of the LexRich5.org website under Need to Know.

Perhaps the most important finding of the audit report are recommendations on how Lex-Rich 5, and any school district, can safeguard the use of tax money from fraud and unsubstantiated expenditures.

As a taxpayer in Lexington County, I want to thank the current school board, including Nikki Gardner, Ken Loveless and Tifani Moore, who are all up for re-election, for taking steps to examine expenditures because I believe that this report will guide our district in the care of future expenditures.

Audit report: https://www.lexrich5.org/cms/lib/SC01916806/Centricity/ModuleInstance/32332/JAG%20Final%20Redacted%20Report.pdf

Eleanor Hare