Schools taking steps to prevent scams
"I feel extremely confident that we are more on top of things in the area of technology than we've ever been. We've hired excellent staff—Mr. (Steve) Schlomann (the district's manager of information systems)—who is well versed in this area," Superintendent Karen Schulte said.
Schlomann was a key player in discovering evidence that pointed to Keirns in what officials believe was a scheme to profit from school purchases.
In addition, the school board last month approved a new policy that Schulte said will help with new procedures that could catch purchasing irregularities.
Keirns' purchases on behalf of the district that are now being questioned were approved at the time by higher-ups, Schulte said. But the irregularities were not discovered until Keirns resigned from his post.
Keirns was hired Jan. 21, 2008, and resigned Nov. 13, 2008, according to a statement the district prepared for the news media. Schulte said Keirns was let go for job-performance reasons.
District officials went to the school board earlier this year when they discovered the alleged scheme. The board, in a meeting closed to the public, authorized officials to report the information to police and the district attorney.
The school district likely will file a civil suit in an attempt to recoup money it believes it was overcharged, officials said.
The district held off announcing these events or filing its lawsuit in order to give police a chance to investigate, according to the statement.