Independence HS Fundraising Being Audited

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (KCRG) -- Thousands of dollars in donations meant for the Independence Community School's cross country teams are missing. And a state report said the team's coach is to blame.

The state auditor's office conducted the review when the district raised questions around the finances of the boys and girls cross country teams.

Sarah Crawford is on paid leave in connection with the state report. Crawford is a coach and Spanish teacher for the district.

Over a five-year period, the audit found $3,541 from fundraisers were never deposited. Investigators said the amount of cash missing may actually be higher than what they were able to find. The report also said Crawford conducted some fundraisers without proper permission from the district.

Independence Superintendent Russell Reiter said the district has taken steps to prevent something like this from happening again.

The auditor's findings were also given to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Buchanan County Attorney's office.

Crawford has not responded to a request for comment.