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School City of Hammond administrators seek more direction on school board's forensic audit request

School City of Hammond

School City of Hammond administrators are looking for more direction on the school board's request for a forensic audit.

The state's recent regular audits haven't found any problems, but the school board wants to dig deeper. Last month, they voted to issue a request for proposals.

But before doing that, Chief Financial Officer Eric Kurtz wants to know specifically what fraud is being suspected, when it allegedly happened, which funds were believed to be involved and any other possible evidence, according to an email read during Tuesday's school board work session.

School board member Cindy Murphy said those questions stem from conversations Kurtz had with the State Board of Accounts. "I don't want anybody to think that we weren't taking this seriously because he immediately contacted the State Board of Accounts because they had concerns that we might waste taxpayer money, if we had someone come in here and do this," Murphy explained. "So that information is needed so we can do the RFPs."

Board member Carlotta Blake-King, who made the initial motion, didn't offer any specifics Tuesday. Instead, she complained that she never got any feedback after the State Board of Accounts asked her to fill out a form, as part of a previous audit on a specific fund.

"All of this is suspect," Blake-King said. "That is just my opinion. Until I get an explanation from the fraud form that I did fill out and has never been addressed by the State Board of Accounts, I find this rather odd."

Blake-King also said she never received Kurtz's email requesting more information.

Michael Gallenberger is a news reporter and producer that hosts All Things Considered on 89.1 FM | Lakeshore Public Media.