Risco school board settles with former employee

Risco school board settles with former employee
By: Ryan Tate
Former Risco secretary to the superintendent Misty Murphy agreed to pay the district more than $134,000, after an investigation into alleged fiscal abuses.

According to a Risco School District news release, the district discovered, "irregularities and funds missing from District accounts." The investigation identified Murphy as the person responsible for the mismanagement of the district funds and accounts. "[The investigation] is something you don't deal with everyday, but you think about it everyday," Superintendent Stan Templeton said.

Murphy resigned from the District in June of 2006. According to the investigation, District leaders traced back to the 2001-2002 school year receipts for items, bought by Murphy, that were not "legitimate expenditures for the District."

According to Templeton, two separate audits were conducted by two independent companies. According to the settlement, Murphy agreed to pay the District $134,802.58, plus another $10,454.43 in accountant legal fees. Templeton says Murphy paid the sum Tuesday. "Being able to recoup this money is going to pay teachers, and provide more resources for the kids and staff," Templeton said.

Templeton says the District is healthy when it comes to the budget. Despite the lack of funds over the past few years, teachers have received more than 21% in raises over the course of two years.

As for Templeton, he says this experience has taught him some things about running a school district. "I've learned you have to maintain proper safety measures in terms of money. You have to make that a priority," Templeton said.

The results of the investigation have been turned over to the New Madrid County Prosecuting Attorney.
According to the Settlement, both the District and Murphy "agree that the execution of this Agreement is not an admission of guilt, wrongdoing, or liability on either parties part."