Thousands of dollars in funds earmarked for student activities have disappeared from the Classical Magnet School in Hartford and police are now investigating the theft.
Hartford police said a former employee is believed to have stolen from the school’s student activity fund, which consists of money raised through fundraisers, sports, clubs and other activities.
“The monies are in the thousands. We obviously find it very important to try to recover this money and make sure we get justice to those responsible,” said Hartford police spokesman Deputy Chief Brian Foley.
The money disappeared back in 2013, according to police. Authorities investigated after it happened and believed the incident to be a one-time theft. No charges were filed.
However, the city’s Internal Audit Commission recently uncovered additional discrepancies during a routine audit. Last month, they asked police to take another look at the case, according to Foley.
A source close to the investigation said at least $5,000 to $7,000 is missing, but those involved believe it could be much more, possibly up to $20,000.
Parents and students said the district never notified them that any money was missing at all.
“I haven’t heard anything and if it is happening, I think it’s horrible,” said Roxana Rosario, who has two children at the Classical Magnet School.
“It’s shameful and more than shameful, it’s really confusing,” said Justin Clapis, a former student who graduated in 2013.
In their report, city auditors found that cash was not always locked in the school’s safe and was even stored in classrooms overnight or for longer periods of time.
“As a result assurances cannot be provided by Classical Magnet School management that cash receipts were always being accounted for and deposited as required and are not misplaced or misappropriated,” the report states.
The district declined to answer questions about the missing money and as to why parents and students were not informed.
“Hartford Public Schools turned over its findings in this matter to the Hartford Police Department and to the Hartford Audit Commission. As far as we know, the matter is under investigation. We do not comment on pending investigations,” Hartford Public Schools spokesman David Medina said in a statement.
Detectives with the Hartford Police Department’s Major Crimes Division are investigating.