Audrain County’s Community R-6 Schools Booster Club is investigating the alleged misappropriation of funds by a former club board member.
The former board member suspected in the investigation also works for the district and was placed on administrative leave, Superintendent Cheryl Mack said.
Mack and boosters President Cindy Fort declined to name the employee or give the amount allegedly missing. Boosters operate concession stands and hold fundraisers for its operations and is a separate entity from the school district.
The boosters have formed an investigative committee and will determine if further action is necessary, Fort said.
District staff member suspensions are under the authority of the superintendent and can be implemented if a staff member violates board policies, state law, for any other good cause or to investigate allegations of misconduct, according to the Community R-6 middle and high school staff handbook.
The district is conducting its own investigation and the staff member will remain on leave during the investigation.
"Right now we're just waiting on some facts that we don't have at this point," Mack said.
The boosters released a statement to parents Nov. 1. The boosters are reviewing the status of the funds, which are held separately from school district accounts.
The investigation "does not involve any school administration, school funds or persons not associated with the Athletic Booster Club," the statement read.
The boosters have sought legal advice through a Montgomery County attorney.
Montgomery County Sheriff Matthew Schoo initially was involved since the booster's attorney is based in that county, Audrain County Sheriff Matt Oller said. The boosters had a meeting around four weeks ago at which the attorney and Schoo were present, he said. Schoo informed Oller of the situation before Oller contacted the boosters and the group’s attorney.
"I can tell you that they indicated they felt money had been misappropriated illegally,” Oller said “At that point, they were not sure whether they would be requesting a criminal investigation.”
The boosters are continuing their investigation and have not yet made a determination to move forward with seeking criminal charges.