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June 21
1941 - Ernie Hickson buys out Trem Carr's interest in their Monogram movie ranch, renames it "Placeritos" (later called Melody). [story]
Ernie Hickson


Erin Lillibridge

Erin Lillibridge

[KHTS] – The Hart School District is making its recently hired chief financial officer the “auditor” to oversee school activity funding, officials said Monday.

A series of alleged crimes at Valencia High School led officials with the William S. Hart Union High School District to realize more education, training and procedures were necessary, said Hart district board member Gloria Mercado Fortine.

Former Valencia Baseball Head Coach Jared Snyder is facing a seven-count felony complaint, alleging appropriation of public funds by an officer, embezzlement by a public officer and grand theft by embezzlement.

Hart district officials, who reported discrepancies in an audit and notified law enforcement, said they’ve been looking at this issue for a long time, and are working on procedures that will allow them to monitor the fundraising efforts done at all the schools.

“When we handle money, we need to make sure that we document everything,” she said. “We don’t want people to develop their own systems because it doesn’t work anymore.”

Booster clubs are 501c3, which means they are a tax-exempt organization and no part of the earnings should benefit any private shareholder or individual, according to state law.

Jared Snyder

Jared Snyder

Erin Lillibridge was voted the district’s chief financial officer in December 2013, and she will take on the role of the district’s new auditor.

The Hart district has more than 22,000 public junior high and high school students in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Lillibridge will monitor the fundraising efforts and activities that are being done at all the schools. She will track and make sure the programs have procedures in place and that there’s training for accounting procedures.

The booster programs will also be looked at and held accountable to make sure that everything they’re doing is legal, Mercado Fortine said.

In the past few years more and more parents have angrily confronted the board because they didn’t have any information about where the money they were raising was going.

In the past, ASB and other clubs have been raising money with little or no guidance, and district officials don’t oversight on where the money is going, an official said.

“(Lillibridge) will help us immensely and work hand in hand to help us work through these problems and make it easier for the community,” she added.

These complaints forced the boards hand to take a deeper look at some of these issues.

In board meetings, Fortine suggested district officials should do more outreach to the school communities.

“Parents felt like they were being overcharged in participating in athletics and other performing groups at school,” Mercado Fortine said. “The Snyder case has resulted in a lot more questions and clarification.”

 

– Evan Stevens

 

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5 Comments

  1. Finally, guidance and help!!!! Great job Hart district! We look forward to working with you Erin!

  2. Zenaida.villagomez says:

    i have questions regarding softball fund raising,we helped with Vegas night and gift cards for the baskets and we still need to pay $200for the gear for my daughter ,my question is,why having fundraiser if we still have to pay for the gear,can you please investigate that too?we are low income family with a tremendous efforts to help our daughter to play softball,she loves it,it shouldn’t be soo expensive,Valencia high is a public school not private.

  3. That’s great! Btw, my husbands grandma was born a Lillibridge. She was great commander & chief & an educator. I’m sure they must be related.

  4. T. Jones says:

    This has been a long time coming! That it has gone on for so long (lack of oversight) is amazing and maybe suspicious. A lot of money flows through each school’s ASB. Any audits there?

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