Former Colerain basketball coach owes district nearly $8K for botched fundraiser

Former Colerain basketball coach owes district nearly $8K for botched fundraiser
(Source: RNN)

HAMILTON COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - A former Colerain High School basketball coach owes Northwest School District nearly $8,000 for a fundraiser he mismanaged during 2016.

A state audit of the district reported that Bernard Caldwell, former coach of the girls basketball team, held the fundraiser without the district's knowledge and failed to follow its policies for fundraising and record keeping.

"As public employees, we don't get to pick and choose which policies to follow," Auditor Yost said in a release. "Anyone who feels differently must be prepared to assume responsibility for the outcome of their actions."

According to the audit, Caldwell ordered 400 coupon books from Great American Savings in August 2016 and agreed to give the company half of the proceeds from the sale of each $25 book.

The district found out about the fundraiser in February 2017 when the company requested a $5,100 payment that it never received from Caldwell.

Caldwell admitted to investigators that he did not keep accurate records of sales or an inventory of merchandise, and he never returned the unsold coupon books to the company.

Auditors were able to determine that the team sold 267 of the coupon books. Caldwell returned 34 of the books to the district during the investigation, leaving 99 unaccounted for.

Records showed that $1,940 in check payments from the fundraiser were submitted to the Colerain Boosters, who spent the money on items for the girls basketball team. The boosters repaid that amount to the district in May 2017.

Caldwell claimed he deposited cash proceeds onto a prepaid debit card that he used to make purchases for the team. Although he told investigators he still had the card, he never responded to their requests for an account number or records detailing his spending.

Auditors issued a $7,735 finding for recovery against Caldwell for the amount owed to the district.

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