State audit: Former Springfield, Xenia schools employee misspent money

A new state audit of the Springfield City School District includes a finding of misspent money in 2012-13 by a former employee. FILE

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A new state audit of the Springfield City School District includes a finding of misspent money in 2012-13 by a former employee. FILE

State audits released Thursday for both the Springfield and Xenia public school districts include findings of misspent money by the same employee.

The documents released Thursday by Auditor of State Keith Faber’s office primarily cover the 2020-21 school year, but in both cases, they include a finding from years earlier.

The audits found that former school athletic director Mark Stoll misspent district money in the 2012-13 school year at Springfield and between 2013-16 at Xenia.

The state issued findings for recovery in both audits that totaled $8,722 against Stoll for money that was spent on personal expenses.

Stoll could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Stoll was employed as Springfield’s athletic director for several years, and was responsible for athletic department finances and depositing money with the district’s treasurer, according to the audit.

Explore2012 story: Springfield AD Stoll to retire after school year

During the period from March 14, 2012, through July 31, 2013, he had a personal bank account called “Mark Stoll Tournament” that he used to sponsor summer ACME baseball, purchase baseball equipment, and other expenses, according to the audit.

Findings showed that during that time, eight checks totaling $6,246 were made payable to Springfield schools and were “endorsed with a ‘Springfield H.S. Athletics Dept.’ stamp and deposited into the ‘Mark Stoll Tournament’ bank account instead of the district bank account.”

Those checks were intended for the district, but were diverted to Stoll’s personal account and used for his cell phone expenses “and for checks payable to cash or to Mr. Stoll himself,” according to the audit.

According to the auditor’s office, there were no criminal charges brought against Stoll.

Springfield school officials said a ‘notice of finding’ letter was sent to Stoll, who has not been employed with the district for years and was not an employee when the investigation started, that showed checks were deposited into a personal bank account and not one of the district.

“Creating such an account was a common practice in athletics departments at that time; however, it is no longer permissible,” said Communications Specialist Jenna Leinasars.

“As the letter was just issued today (Thursday), the district has not received the money owed to the district. ... The district is hopeful to receive the owed funds in a timely manner,” she added

Explore2013 story: Stoll answers calling from Xenia

Leinasars reiterated that the 2020-21 school year audit was clean, but the issue involving Stoll relates to a “special investigation” conducted by the auditor’s office.

“This is not an audit of Springfield City School District and is separate from the annual financial audit,” she said. “The special investigation does not reflect on district operations or our sound fiscal status.”

In a separate audit released for Xenia schools, the auditor found the same thing happened between Aug. 1, 2013, through May 19, 2016 in Xenia. In this case, there were 11 checks totaling $2,476 that were made payable to Xenia schools but deposited into Stoll’s personal “Mark Stoll Tournament” account.

A finding for recovery seeking repayment of both Springfield and Xenia’s public funds was issued against Stoll and in favor of the districts’ athletic funds.

Xenia school officials issued a brief statement Thursday.

“The district was unaware of this issue until the finding for recovery was released in the 2021 audit report from the state,” said Xenia schools spokeswoman Kristy Creel. “As athletic director from 2013-2016, Mark Stoll was part of a previous administration, and has not been involved with the district since that time.”

Stoll retired as Springfield High School’s athletic director at the end of the 2012-13 school year — the year of the improper spending. Stoll, who was 58 at the time, had been with the Springfield district since 1982.

After retiring from Springfield, Stoll went on and served as Xenia High School’s athletic director for three years. He resigned at the end of the 2015-16 school year.

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