From today’s release of the investigative report into the Department of Public Instruction comes these key findings and recommendations, as well as a fascinating state auditor’s note. First:
• An analyst for DPI submitted false travel reimbursement claims totaling about $3,400 even though the job required no travel.
• The Division Director acknowledged that no one reviewed the details of the reimbursement requests and that the payments would not have been approved if they had been properly scrutinized.
• A former Division Director for DPI engaged in activity and discussions regarding a return to service within six months of her effective retirement date in violation of state law.
• DPI should take action to recover funds inappropriately paid to the analyst in accordance with state law and take disciplinary action against the analyst for knowingly submitting false statements.
• DPI should thoroughly review details of all travel reimbursement claims before authorizing payment.
• DPI should ensure all retirees are made aware of and provided guidance on the North Carolina Retirement Systems’ Return-to-Work laws.
• The State Retirement Systems Division should determine whether the former Division Director should forfeit retirement pay and state health plan coverage already received.
And now, the state auditor’s note:
In general, DPI management agreed with the findings and recommendations in this report and stated that it initiated both disciplinary and corrective action. However, DPI’s response includes certain implications that are misleading or inaccurate.