Auditor of State’s Report on Special Investigation of Certain Transfers Between Lunch Accounts

Written by Theresa Rose on February 2, 2017

Auditor of State, Mary Mosiman, Tuesday released a report on a special investigation of the Mount Pleasant Community School District for the period August 8, 2012 through November 14, 2016.  the special investigation was requested by District Officials due to concerns identified with certain transfers between student lunch accounts processed by former Harlan Elementary School secretary, Dawn Dietzenbach.  Ms.Dietzenbach was placed on paid administrative leave on October 19, 2016 and she subsequently resigned her position with the District on October 28, 2016.

Mosiman reported the special investigation indentified $5,055.80 of improper credits to student lunch accounts and $238.00 of undeposited collections.  The $5,055.80 of improper credits identified is comprised of $2,974.40 of improper transfers and $2,081.40 of improper adjustments.

The improper transfers include: $1,544.40 posted to a specific student’s lunch account, $817.25 posted to Ms. Dietzenbach’s children’s lunch accounts and $612.75 posted to various student lunch accounts.

The improper adjustments include: $1,777.10 posted to a specific student’s lunch account, $196.10 posted to Ms. Dietzenbach’s children’s lunch accounts and $108.20 posted to various student lunch accounts.

Mosiman also reported, of  the total improper credits of $1,013.35 posted to Ms. Dietzenbach’s children’s lunch accounts, $516.35 was expended to purchase lunches for her children and $497.00 remained in their lunch accounts.

the report includes recommendations to strengthen the District’s internal controls and overall operations, such as improving segregation of duties, implementing procedures to properly refund lunch account balances, periodically reviewing employee access to the lunch account system and issuing individual receipts for student lunch account payments.  In addition, the report includes a recommendation to ensure an independent reconciliation is performed monthly between the District’s accounting records and the student lunch account records.

Copies of the report have been filed with the Division of Criminal Investigation, the Henry County Attorney’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office.  A copy of the report is available for review in the Office of the Auditor of State and on the Auditor of State’s web site at auditor.iowa.gov/reports/1730-4536-BE00

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For now, Dietzenbach has not been charged with any crime. She submitted a letter of resignation shortly after she was placed on administrative leave.

“She also sent a letter saying that it was never her intent to keep the funds that were put into her children’s accounts. It was always her intent to distribute it back to the kids who needed assistance,” Mosiman said. “And she did include a personal check for $300 and she asked that the funds be used for that purpose.”