A scathing forensic audit of East Haven Public Schools finds “significant failures…to guard against fraud and waste,” according to a summary report obtained by News 8. As a result, two high level school district workers have been put on leave, but it’s unclear if they’re still collecting a paycheck.
One of the workers is Cathy Finkle, who also happens to be the wife of school board member John Finkle.
“That’s pretty bad,” said parent Heba Majeed.
“Disappointing I guess,” Angela Burris, also a parent, said.
Until her suspension, Finkle ran the Little Jackets Pre-School Program where auditors could not account for $31,786 dollars, part of which came from a pie sale fundraiser, among other “significant control weaknesses” listed in the report. Auditors documented incomplete expense reports, shoddy records pertaining to tuition collection and lack of an operating budget.
We caught up with Finkle at home and pressed her on the audit’s findings.
“No, I have no comment,” she immediately told News 8’s Mario Boone before he could ask a question.
“Did you take funds or misappropriate funds?”
“No, not at all. Never!” she responded.
“Why would the audit show that there were all these discrepancies and missing funds?”
“Cause he didn’t ask me questions. He doesn’t know that money orders were made out if a cash payment was received.”
Maintenance director Vincent Consiglio is also on leave. We couldn’t find him for comment but the audit found a company he owns, Complete Sewer and Drain, had a contract to inspect lunch room grease traps. Problem is there were “no independent sign off on the invoices verifying that the work was performed, and no independent determination that the work was required to be performed.”
School board Chairwoman Michele DeLucia released a statement saying in part, “As a result of the forensic analysis and recommendations proposed, the district with further investigate the findings. The administration is following standard procedure in this matter.”