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Handbooks clarify Milton schools' financial policy

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Stacy Vogel
May 13, 2008
— The Milton School District continues to review and update its procedures for handling money nearly a year after a high school financial secretary pleaded guilty to stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the school.

Monday, the school board approved the creation of a new handbook and changes to an existing handbook to help train employees who handle money.


Most of the policies in the books—the new financial secretary handbook and the revised student activity funds management handbook—existed before, but they weren’t all written down, said Dianne Meyer, district business manager.


The district made the changes after Melinda Quinn, former high school financial secretary, admitted last year to stealing $47,000 from the school over five years. She was sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to pay $96,000 in restitution.


Another district employee, Becky Fry, was convicted in 1998 of stealing more than $40,000 from Milton Middle School.


The district appointed Wendy McManus, who was already employed with the district, as financial secretary after Quinn’s resignation.


McManus already had experience handling money, but the district was concerned about new employees who were hired to handle money this year after other employees retired, Meyer said.


“Although we worked with those individuals, we didn’t have anything specifically written that could help them,” she said.


The new handbook will provide an easy reference for each job duty of new financial secretaries, she said.


The district redefined several job descriptions at the beginning of the school year to make sure more people are involved in collecting and depositing money, Meyer previously told The Janesville Gazette.


The district also followed other recommendations from a forensic investigator to prevent theft, but Meyer declined to describe them because the district doesn’t want potential criminals to know too much about its financial practices, she said.



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