An internal audit into the financial practices of the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association concluded that former D.C. Public Schools athletic director Stephanie Evans was “grossly negligent” in the handling of department money during her four-year tenure as the school system’s top athletic administrator.
The 25-page report conducted by the city’s Office of Audit and Risk Management found that Evans consistently failed to follow city protocol and inappropriately used money while overseeing the department’s student activity fund, which contains money collected through ticket and concession sales at DCIAA events.
The audit, first obtained by NBC Washington, revealed that Evans unilaterally controlled the counting of money going into and out of the student activity fund, which is against DCPS policy, and was routinely late in depositing money from DCIAA events into the account. The audit did not identify Evans or other DCIAA officials by name, but it attributes claims to the athletic director during the years in which Evans held the position.
According to the audit, there was more than $32,000 in uncounted cash discovered in bags within a DCIAA safe once Evans left the office on maternity leave in June. Investigators noted in the audit that there was a Wells Fargo branch down the street from the current DCIAA headquarters where officials could have deposited the money.
The audit detailed nearly 30 instances during Evans’s tenure, which began in November 2011, in which there were late deposits into the student activity fund totaling more than $355,715, with lag times ranging from two days to 164 days.
“It is impossible for us to determine whether the funds documented as collected from sporting events represents the full amount of what was actually collected because there is an absence of consistent, reliable documentation to support ticket sales,” the audit said.
Evans was put on administrative leave by DCPS in October and resigned from her position last month in the midst of the city’s review. She did not respond to a telephone message seeking comment on the audit but said in a statement issued to The Washington Post last month that “there was no money missing and all funds were accounted for.”
The report also concluded that the DCIAA inappropriately used money from the student activity fund to pay for “extravagant food items” for adults during athletic events, registration fees for DCPS athletic trainers at national conferences and office supplies such as computers.
Money from the student activity fund is supposed to be used only on “extracurricular activities of students,” the audit said, calling the purchases for adults “inexcusable.”
The audit also questioned money paid out to people who served as workers at DCIAA events during Evans’s tenure, since many were given varying amounts of compensation for performing similar duties, according to receipts provided by the DCIAA. The audit said that because of the lack of reliable documentation, “we are unable to determine and provide a reasonable assurance that waste, fraud and/or abuse did not occur within” the student activity fund.
In response to the audit, DCPS said it would revamp internal policies, conduct additional “professional development” for DCIAA staff and hire a full-time business manager.
“D.C. Public Schools takes proper management of funds seriously, which is why we conduct internal audits,” a DCPS spokeswoman wrote in a statement provided to The Post. “This audit revealed noncompliance with certain rules regarding management of athletic activity funds. We have taken the necessary steps to ensure that such funds are properly handled in order to ensure more time for learning.”