MC Schools will reimburse Clear Lake for overpayment

by Marianne Gasaway

The Mason City School Board took action Monday night to correct improper payments made during an eight-year period between July 2009 and August 2017.  The payments included refunding the Clear Lake School district $6,100.

Anita Micich, who served as Clear Lake School District superintendent through a sharing agreement with the Mason City Community School District for six years, was identified in a special investigation conducted by Auditor of State Mary Mosiman.   The special investigation was requested by MCCSD officials as a result of concerns identified with the allocation of salary increases approved by the MCCSD Board of Education (Board) and contributions to certain tax-sheltered annuity (TSA) accounts for the period July 1, 2009 through Aug. 31, 2017. The  concerns were communicated to the Office of Auditor of State during a meeting preceding issuance of the report on the reaudit of the District’s audit report for fiscal year 2015 issued Aug. 21, 2017.

In a report issued Friday, Dec. 28,  Mosiman stated the special investigation identified $2,238,952.08 of improper disbursements comprised of $108,673.24 identified in the report on the reaudit and $2,130,278.84 identified in the report.

Mosiman’s report noted the Superintendent position held by Dr. Micich was shared between MCCSD and the Clear Lake Community School District (Clear Lake CSD) for the period July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2016. As part of that sharing agreement, MCCSD billed Clear Lake CSD for its portion of Dr. Micich’s salary and benefits. Based on a comparison of the percentage to be billed in accordance with the sharing agreement to the amount actually billed, $7,370 of overbillings from MCCSD to Clear Lake CSD were identified. Clear Lake CSD paid MCCSD for all billings received.

Monday night the Mason City School Board unanimously approved paying back just over $6,100 that the Clear Lake Community School District was overbilled for in sharing agreements involving the superintendent, the transportation director, and the buildings and grounds supervisor.

The board also unanimously approved paying $19,985 to the State Auditor’s Office for a portion of the cost of the special investigation. The board on a 5-2 vote approved paying seven Mason City employees a combined total of $24,183 that the investigation found were underpaid.

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