VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) - Evergreen Public Schools is out nearly $60,000, according to a fraud investigation report FOX 12 obtained. The school district said it notified the Washington State Auditor of a potential loss of public funds in 2018.

Records show, in late Oct. 2018, a former district employee, approved a payment to an unnamed web host.

Upon inspection, EPS learned its employee was the registered owner of that business but never disclosed that information. An internal investigation into the matter also revealed that employee made four payments to his own company, without providing the district with a service.

Between April 2017 and July 2018, EPS paid the unnamed company $58,547, according to the state auditor’s fraud investigation report.

The investigation also found the former employee charged the district for nearly 30 hours of work, totaling more than $1,300 in his salary, which he claimed, was for time he spent meeting with the vendor.

After the district learned of the fraud, it interviewed the employee, who FOX 12 is not naming, because he has not yet been charged with a crime.

Records show, the employee acknowledged violating district policy and immediately resigned.

FOX 12 spoke with the district’s former employee over the phone and he confirmed EPS staff did interview him over the matter.

But, when asked for a statement for this story, he said, “no comment” and referred FOX 12 to his lawyer instead. We are still waiting to hear back from the attorney.

Meanwhile, the district sent FOX 12 this statement saying, in part:

“We have worked diligently with the SAO in ensuring a full investigation, and subsequent agreement on the repayment of the funds by the former employee. Evergreen Public Schools has also put into place a more stringent procurement process, and has trained staff in the new requirements.”

The district did file a police report with the Vancouver Police Department. A VPD spokesperson said officers have not yet made an arrest in this case. However, the case was referred to the Clark County prosecuting attorney’s office for review.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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