Legacy Academy For Leaders and the Arts

Columbus - A charter school treasurer received $233,923 with no justification – and in many instances, only the treasurer signed the checks payable to himself or he signed the name of the school business manager without apparent authority.

Carl Shye was treasurer of the Legacy Academy for Leaders and the Arts during the time period reviewed by a special audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.  Virtually no documentation of more than 100 financial transactions at the school led to a total of $352,062 in findings for recovery.

I’ve seen better documentation at a lemonade stand,” Auditor Yost said. “Schools must be able to account for every dollar spent.”

The academy issued 90 checks to former school treasurer Carl Shye totaling $483,923 for monthly treasurer fees, loan repayment, software licenses, compilation services, IRS audit meetings and audit preparation services.  Shye was given credit for $250,000 for the services he provided to the academy during the audit period; however, neither the academy nor Shye could provide contracts, loan agreements, bills, invoices or any valid documentation to confirm the amounts paid.  Also during the audit period, Shye signed his own name and Business Manager Edward Bolling’s name for a combined 73 of the 90 checks issued to him.  No evidence of authorization for Shye to sign on behalf of Bolling was brought forth.  Therefore, Shye was issued findings for recovery in the amount of $233,923 in favor of the academy.

The academy entered into a lease agreement with the Mt. Calvary Pentecostal Church.  Four checks to the church totaling $15,965 did not have documentation to support any expenditure, and the payments did not appear to be a rent payment.  An additional 24 checks were issued by the academy for expenses that should have been paid for by Mt. Calvary Pentecostal Church for a total of $50,374.  Findings for recovery were issued against Mt. Calvary Pentecostal Church in the amount of $66,339 in favor of the Legacy Academy for Leaders and the Arts.

The academy issued four checks to CBC, LLC totaling $6,000 with no documentation of the expenditure.  These payments were mailed to the home address of and were endorsed by Gary Brantley, husband of an academy employee and nephew of board member C. Wayne Brantley.  Findings for recovery were issued against CBC, LLC in the total amount and this issue was referred to the Ohio Ethics Commission for further review.

Three other instances occurred where undocumented expenditures led to findings for recovery.  Michelle Nazarovech was issued $24,500 in findings for recovery for lack of evidence of a contract for any services provided to the academy.  Edward Bolling was issued $1,500 in findings for recovery for no evidence of “accounting assistance” or any additional services to the academy.  The George Washington Carver Academy was issued $19,800 for two checks lacking documentation.  At the time of the transactions, Carl Shye was treasurer of both schools.

This special audit reviewing financial records for the period of July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2010 was initiated after auditors found numerous unsupported expenditures, unusual bank activity, many related party transactions and expenditures not for academy operations.  This activity warranted a deeper, special audit.

The results of this special audit will be forwarded to the Mahoning County prosecutor.

A full copy of this special audit can be found online.

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