State Auditor Says Coding Error Diverted $2.1M From Chickasha Public Schools

Tuesday, February 12th 2019, 10:45 pm
By: Bonnie Campo

Monday, the Grady County Treasurer’s Office atoned for a $2.1 million mistake. The funds were allocated toward the Chickasha Public Schools' General Fund, but were instead were diverted into the Grady County General Fund. 

Staff at the Oklahoma State Auditor’s Office said the mistake was due to a coding error in the county’s software. The error reportedly occurred when a manual entry was made in the system.

At this point, investigators do not believe the move was made with malicious intent.

Superintendent of Chickasha Public Schools Jack Herron said they have since deposited the multi-million-dollar check. However, Herron said the school still has a $40,000 shortage in its sinking fund. They are asking investigators to find that money.

“We had to take that right out of our hide so to speak, and pay it out of our general fund,” said Herron. “I think the school board is still concerned, did we get all of our money?”

Herron and his staff said they noticed the issue when the ad valorem tax receipts were way out of line with what the district should have received. Yet, the school was still receiving some money in their account, which caused some of the delay and confusion.

“Last week, it finally reached a point I said, ‘We have got to go down to the county and figure out what the deal is,’” said Herron.

The auditor’s office said they will review the account to see if other districts were affected. 

Chickasha Public Schools shares that concern. 

“I just think it's highly improbable that it would only impact Chickasha Public Schools,” said Herron.

The school board held a meeting Tuesday night, and took public comments.

CPS said the money was already built into the budget and was dedicated to various expenditures.

Above all else, Herron said he wants others to know he is urging this money toward the classroom.

“I will tell you, it is a good school. We have test scores to prove that,” he said.

News 9 reached out to the Grady County Treasurer’s Office, but was referred to the district attorney for questions on the matter.

DA Jason Hicks said this error is in no way connected to the previous Grady County audit. In that report, investigators found various county officials were overpaid thousands of dollars.

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