ARNOLD, MO (KTVI) – More than three years after Fox 2’s You Paid For It team began looking into accusations of nepotism, mismanagement, and subsequent questioning over high salaries in the Fox School District, the Missouri State Auditor’s Office on Wednesday released a report detailing tens of thousands of dollars of improper spending from the former district superintendent.
State audit discovered Dr. Dianne Critchlow made approximately $200,000 worth of what it calls "questionable expenses," ranging from restaurant meals, groceries, gas, personal electronics, gift cards and salaries for Critchlow and her husband
"We found that the former superintendent used taxpayer dollars to personally benefit herself and a select few individuals close to her," Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway said.
MO Auditor questions $200,000 in expenses and extra pay at Fox School Dist linked to Frmr Supt Dianne Critchlow pic.twitter.com/Yj9Vyyd92n
— Betsey Bruce (@betseybruce) May 25, 2016
Auditors poured over credit card records and found hundreds of purchases that were made without the review and consent of the school board. The district's credit card policy allows for purchases of instructional materials, buildings needs, and other supplies. However, the former superintendent used the district credit card buy common items like coffee, batteries, and shampoo, and far more luxurious items such as digital cameras and smartphones.
The audit also discovered the credit card was used to purchase logging equipment the same month Critchlow's husband, a school administrator, filed paperwork to open a timber company.
Dianne Critchlow's lawyer released a statement denying that Critchlow did anything wrong.
Attorney Brandy Barth called the State Audit one sided and biased.
She said all of Critchlow's expenditures were approved by the Fox School Board, and that Critchlow was not in charge of setting her salary.
The attorney says all credit card purchases were for school district purposes.
The attorney also says few of Critchlow's responses were included in the State Audit.
Other spending concerns were detailed in the audit, which be viewed in its entirety below: