COLUMBUS – Auditor of State Keith Faber today released the 2017-18 Elida Local School District audit that issues a finding for recovery for $85,000 against Matthew Burton, former maintenance worker for the district.

“This former employee defrauded citizens and stole from students by using tax dollars to buy supplies for his private business,” Auditor Faber remarked. “This is an outrageous breach of public trust and it’s only right that the money be repaid.”

Burton was responsible for maintaining the interior of the district’s buildings. As a part of his duties, he had authorization to make purchases at several businesses. On May 11, 2017, the district discovered that Burton was performing HVAC work on the side and buying supplies with the district’s funds. At that point, the district opened an internal audit and reviewed invoices from all vendors involved.

Furthermore, the district fired Burton on May 11, 2017. On June 5, 2018, Burton entered a plea of guilty to one count of Theft in Office before the Allen County Court of Common Pleas. On Aug. 6, 2018, Judge Jeffery L. Reed ordered Burton to pay back $85,000 to the district. Based on that court order, Auditor Faber issued todays finding for recovery to insure Burton makes full restitution.

Upon separation of service, Burton voluntarily had the district withhold his unused vacation leave payout of $6,128 and unused personal leave payout of $300. On Oct. 9, 2018, the district received a $38,229 payment from the School Employees Retirement System, the balance of Burton’s retirement account. On Feb. 2019, the district received a $100 restitution payment from the court.

The Auditor’s office considers these as partial repayments of the finding and a balance of $40,243 remains.

A full copy of this report is available online.