Thursday, January 16, 2014

Burlington, Wisconsin schools investigate lunch money irregularity

The Burlington Area School District is investigating an “irregularity” in the bank deposits of students’ lunch money.

The deposits in question happened in December and were made by an employee of Aramark, the district’s food service provider, according to a letter about the matter sent home to parents Friday.

“In late December our system of financial checks and balances identified a bank deposit irregularity regarding a food service fund deposit made by an Aramark employee,” the letter said, explaining an internal investigation followed and revealed “other December deposits were compromised. ...

“The deposits in question,” the letter continued, “are student lunch purchases and do not involve any property tax or state aid funds. The status of checks written to the Burlington Area School District for food service (as well as) cash deposits to individual student accounts (is) being reviewed and we will be letting you know the status of your checks and deposits as soon as possible.”

The cash and checks could have been for a single meal or for a student to have some money put on their food service account; credit card payments were not impacted, Superintendent Peter Smet said.

He would not say more about exactly what happened or how much money was involved, since an investigation is ongoing.

That investigation involves “a complete audit of the food service fund” and is being conducted by the school district, Aramark and the City of Burlington Police Department, the letter said. Aramark and police officials did not respond to Journal Times inquiries.

However, the letter said the Aramark employee involved is no longer assigned to the Burlington Area School District and that the company is being helpful.

“Aramark has assured the Burlington Area School District that the school district and student food service accounts will be made whole for any possible loss due to this matter,” the letter said. “... Aramark has served the Burlington Area School District since 1999 without any previous incidents and is cooperating fully in the matter.”

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