LINCOLN FOOTBALL: Audit Faults Fundraising Efforts

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An audit completed by the State Auditor’s Office, at the request of Des Moines Public Schools, is shedding some light on the firing of Lincoln High school football coach Tom Mihalovich and two assistant coaches.

The report shows that between May 2003 and October 2012, more than $83,000 in fundraising money relating to the football program, was accounted for but not deposited in bank accounts which had school district oversight.

Instead, funds were deposited in accounts established by private individuals.

The report also finds that nearly $21,000 from the sale of discount cards between 2008 and 2012 remains unaccounted.

Des Moines Public Schools officials asked the Auditor`s Office to investigate questions about athletic finances at Lincoln last October, in the wake of firing Mihalovich and two assistant coaches.

Prior to the release of the report, Des Moines Public Schools took several steps to reduce the risk of future occurences. It is already the only school district in Iowa with its own internal audit staff, but a second auditor was hired by the district.

All high school activity directors are responsible for a monthly review of finances and fundraising activities must be approved by both the activity director and the principal before they begin.

Several other new measures are also in place.

Tom Mihalovich issued a statement on the audit and the school district’s response, in part it reads, ” I want to assure parents and players all funds raised were used to support Lincoln football no matter which account was used.  Fundraising is essential to provide our student athletes with the fundamentals to help them be competitive and successful.  During my 12-years as Lincoln High School’s Head Football Coach, I worked tirelessly to develop a strong and competitive football program that became a great source of pride for Des Moines’ south side, students and alums.”

Read the entire statement here.