The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is among several agencies looking into a report concerning the possible misappropriation of fundraising money meant for sports programs at Independence High School.

The State Auditor's Office conducted a review after officials with the Independence Community School District raised questions about finances involving the girls' tennis and boys' cross country teams. According to the state auditor's report, more the $3,500 from fundraisers for the two athletic programs were never deposited into school accounts. The 37-page report, signed by State Auditor Mary Mosiman, focused on transaction records covering a five-year period between July 1, 2012 and May 31, 2018.

Specifically, documents reviewed by the state auditor identified $3,541 of undeposited collections related to girls’ tennis and boys’ cross county programs. Officials were unable to determine if additional collections were not properly deposited because adequate records were not available, the audit report stated.

The report blames Sarah Crawford, the former coach of the two teams. According to the report, the district did not offer her contracts to coach during the 2018-19 school year. However, she is listed as a Spanish teacher at Independence Junior-Senior High School on the district's website.

The state audit report includes several recommendations for the district to follow. They include: improving overall financial operations, stengthening internal controls, and making sure everyone involved in fundraising complies with district policies.

Copies of the report have been filed with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Buchanan County Attorney’s Office, and the State Attorney General’s Office for further review and possible action.

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