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State Audit Finds Mismanagement At Hempstead School District

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- New York's state comptroller says an audit by his office has found $453,000 in questionable payments at the Hempstead Union Free School District.

The audit released Tuesday by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli also accuses the Hempstead school board of scheduling too many "emergency" meetings at times when the public will be unlikely to attend.

DiNapoli says the audit shows "wasteful spending, poor decision making, sloppy record keeping and a lack of transparency."

State Audit Finds Mismanagement At Hempstead School District

According to the audit, Superintendent Susan Johnson received biweekly paychecks that were $7,000 to $11,000 more than she was contractually entitled to during much of the 2012-2013 school year. Johnson did not return calls to the district office Tuesday.

Auditors say the district was meanwhile paying $291,143 to former superintendent Patricia Garcia in a confidential "separation agreement."

The audit also found that the school district hired four unqualified people to fill staff jobs and created a $94,000-a-year clerk's position without any plan for the new employee's responsibilities, WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported. The clerk position was later eliminated.

In a statement, Hempstead Board of Education President Lamont Johnson said he can't explain decisions made before he took over and that necessary corrective actions are being taken.

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