Audit of Lone Peak baseball led to coach Mike LaHargoue's resignation
Parents fear more money was raised than is accounted for
"He will no longer coach — not in the Alpine School District," Bromley said. "There was personnel action taken, appropriate action, but because it is personnel action, I can't tell you specifically what that was."
One of the biggest issues revealed by the audit was that LaHargoue set up "an unauthorized" bank account to handle summer baseball expenses and revenue — something he told auditors a previous coach had done as well. At the time, the Alpine district policy allowed accounts by booster clubs to be managed outside of the school's oversight, but a coach was not allowed to be a signer on such accounts.
In LaHargoue's case, he was a primary signer on the account, which was set up using a nonprofit tax ID number at the Bank of American Fork in May of 2008, the audit states. Assistant coach Gary Daniels and LaHargoue's wife were the only other signers. The team's booster club president, a parent, was not a signer, nor was she involved in managing the account, according to the audit.
A number of parents who met with the Deseret News last week said they asked to see those books, but were not allowed.
Bromley said the district has since changed its policy about booster club accounts. All accounts are now managed by the school.
"We believe in transparency and that parents should know where money is being spent, regardless of the reason it is being raised," she said.
Bromley said she confirmed that the tax ID number used on the summer baseball account did not belong to Lone Peak High, but she does not know which organization it does belong to.
The audit found that money raised for the school baseball program was incorrectly deposited into the the summer baseball account and revenue and expenses for both programs were mixed together. The audit also indicated: that few receipts were kept, that the district and state requirement to acquire bids before large purchases was not followed, and that no 1099 tax forms were issued to vendors who were paid from that summer baseball account.
"It was definitely sloppy bookkeeping on the outside account," Bromley said.
LaHargoue was also asked to repay the school for travel expenses for his wife that amounted to $1,279.60, according to the audit. Bromley confirmed the district did receive those funds from LaHargoue in August.
Auditor Robert Boyer pointed out that "minimal documentation" was provided for him to investigate.
"The checkbook register and a few invoices and receipts were available for review," Boyer wrote. "Deposits and disbursements are handled by Mike and Susan (LaHargoue) and are manually recorded in the checkbook. Monthly bank reconciliations are not performed. Previous audits have not been performed."
The auditor found a number of discrepancies, including checks written for different amounts than were recorded in the checkbook, outstanding checks, and deposits recorded for one amount in the checkbook but another in the bank records.
Bromley said the school is cooperating with state investigators and has made other changes in hopes of avoiding this kind of situation in the future. The summer baseball account is closed and the remaining money, a little more than $13,000, was returned to the school account.
She insists LaHargoue was not given special treatment because he was a successful and popular coach.
"He's not being treated any differently," she said. "This all came up right after graduation. There was immediate action taken as far as the audit, and we moved as quickly as possible. He was cooperative and he has paid the money back for the unauthorized reimbursements. We have also started more in-depth training for coaches that began last fall."
She said the gray area of summer programs is something they're working to make more clear for high school coaches, many of whom are also involved in summer sports programs.
"We want to be accountable for all of the money, that's our biggest thing," Bromley said.
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