Tuesday, August 14, 2007

St Charles Expands Audit to look at Erwin''s full tenure

The St. Charles school district is expanding its annual audit this year to find out exactly how much it paid former superintendent Barbara Erwin during her three years on the job.

Auditors have been told to break down not only how much Erwin was paid in salary, but also how many vacation and sick days she cashed in, new Superintendent Donald Schlomann said Monday.

The probe will span Erwin’s entire career in St. Charles, from 2004 to last month, and result in a public report that aims to address “rumors and innuendo about what may or may not have occurred,” Schlomann said.

School district audits typically encompass all of the taxing body’s finances, but do not narrow in on one employee — especially over several years.

Schlomann said the decision to focus on Erwin, who left amid controversy in July, was a result of speculation from the community over whether she was fairly compensated.

“I hear all kinds of ‘She got this, she got that,’” Schlomann said. “There are lots of rumors.”

Some rumors stem from a 2005 contract extension that credited Erwin for 85 sick days a year to put toward an Illinois pension.

The school board admitted earlier this year that it illegally agreed to the measure without a public vote, which caused a backlash from taxpayers.

It appears Erwin ended up getting about six months of sick time credit after the board retroactively approved the extension.

Other factors, including the possible theft of Erwin’s personnel file from district headquarters and her last-minute decision to decline a job as Kentucky’s state superintendent, only added to speculation surrounding her departure.

Schlomann said an outside auditing firm likely will begin reviewing documents in September, and a report detailing Erwin’s compensation will be made public this fall.

Erwin’s annual salary was $195,000, records show.

This from the Daily Herald.

No comments: