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7:02 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Oklahoma audit questions Education Department fund

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's chief auditor is questioning how some former Department of Education officials spent money from previously unknown bank accounts.

Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones released an investigative audit Wednesday requested by current State Schools Superintendent Janet Barresi. Jones says auditors discovered three unauthorized and previously unknown bank accounts that they allege were utilized as a slush fund to spend more than $2.3 million over a 10-year period. He says use of the accounts allowed former Education Department officials to spend money shielded from government oversight and public scrutiny.

Jones says Barresi and the state Board of Education originally asked for a special audit regarding some suspicious travel claims by a former employee. He says auditors from his office spent many hours reviewing documents and conducting interviews during their investigation.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.