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Comments about ‘Timpview High controversy could lead to statewide changes after audit reveals money problems’

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Published: Wednesday, June 20 2012 2:27 p.m. MDT

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UtahBruin
Saratoga Springs, UT

"No other administrator has been disciplined"

If this is really true, then why the new Principal? Why did one of the Vice Principals get moved from Timpview to a new location (Provo Youth Corrections). Just my opinion, but when someone ask that the termination be taken back so they can resign to quit the personal attacks or investigation so they "Can move on" bleeds guilty. Sorry Wong, you are a great FB Coach, no question, but if that was really the case and you are innocent then you should have resigned a long time ago. This whole things is fishy, and I think the majority of the stink comes from the Provo School District.

Red
Salt Lake City, UT

Wow! I'm all for being accurate, but a $10k discrepancy over 5 years and raising $5million seems like much ado about nothing.

Yes, all you sticklers out there who want to thrown stones in your glass houses can have a field day, but in the big picture this is insignificant.

plyxply
SLC, UT

A perfect example of a witch-hunt by the school board turning up barely anything. It's amazing that with the back-room, underhanded dealings of our public officials they choose to go after a high school football coach who actually does something positive within the community. These school board folks need to be replaced, fired, voted out, whatever. They think they are untouchable but this will come back to bite every one of them, karma folks, karma.

homers
Provo, UT

I think that $9,000 not deposited and the practice of comingling funds in private accounts is a very big deal. I think it should have been investigated and I am glad it was. I feel bad that the former Superintendent was crucified for even suggesting that the situation should have been investigated. I talked to him the other day and asked him if he felt vindicated. He simply answered that he was sad that it all caused so much division and that it was interpreted as a "get Wong" effort. I think that if everyone would have been willing to wait for the facts to come out and then allowed the decision to be made dispassionately that perhaps we would still have both Merrill and Wong who were both doing very good work in my observation. Those who felt so loyal to Coach Wong that they were unable to be objective threw a hand grenade into the process and blew it all up.

VIDAR
Murray, UT

Anyone who is responsible for a budget, and taking care of money, knows that you keep track of every penny.
And you have everything require two signature to back each other up, and take away all tempatation and suspicion .
Wong is a college educated man, he knew better.
now his name is stained and he can not prove what happened to the money.

guitarboy
South Jordan, UT

homers -- hard to find valid reasoning in your post.

"I feel bad that the former Superintendent was crucified for even suggesting that the situation should have been investigated."
--->???The district did not merely suggest an investigation. It FIRED coach Wong.

"[The Superintendent said] he was sad that it all caused so much division and that it was interpreted as a 'get Wong' effort."
--->He didn't want it interpreted as a "get Wong" effort?!! The district FIRED coach Wong! How else can it be interpreted?!!

"I think that if everyone would have been willing to wait for the facts to come out and then allowed the decision to be made dispassionately that perhaps we would still have both Merrill and Wong."
--->The district FIRED coach Wong! That is why we don't have coach Wong! It had nothing to do with the public failing to "wait."

The audit concludes the district failed in almost every way: Failed to have clear policy and procedure. Failed to train. Failed to communicate money handling standards. Failed to establish "adequate policies."

In the PSD, how do you spell scapegoat? W-O-N-G.

PSD = incompetence (apparently)

Why did they fire the coach?

Wyomex
Burlington, WY

Another example of mistaking a Principle - “bearing fruit” for a Policy - “counting beans.”

Without putting too fine a point on it, Mr. Wong was hired as a coach, not an accountant. His coaching bore exceptional fruit. Those nearest him: students, staff, parents can attest to his integrity. Those farthest from him cry foul.

NERDY (Never Ending Reports Due Yesterday), a white-collar “make work” organization, exists in almost every government bureaucracy to slow down and distract exceptional "fruit producers."
Its motto seems to be: “If you wanna amount to something, you gotta count to something” and its mantra: “We know how to cut red tape...lengthwise, with a dull butter knife.”

More, much more, was spent in capital - human and financial, for audits and district grief than was ever "not accounted for" or deposited.

Dear investigative reporter: How much time and money was spent on the audits?

satch
Highland, UT

I agree this was much ado about nothing. Coach Wong was not embezzling money!

Much like other over worked coaches and teachers, they do their best at accounting. It's not that these people are making a killing working these extra hours. I am sure Coach Wong or the Timpview environment was not conducive to good accounting practices so put the blame on all parties.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Wow. Shouldn't schools focus on academic pursuits, and extricate paid sports from the entire process?

Lifelong Republican
Orem, UT

homers,

I have yet to talk to a PSD employee that is sad about the change of superintendent. The last one made sure he got his retirement all set up before leaving. Meanwhile, the vast majority of employees in the district are not going to get the retirement the district promised them when they got hired. The good old boys conveniently grandfathered themselves in while cutting retirement for all of the younger employees. Take a look at the "negotiations" that took place each year with the former superintendent. Each year something more was cut from the teachers while new program after new program was implemented.

PSD is a big mess right now which is sad because it used to be THE place to get a teaching job. The teachers I have talked with have very high hopes that the new superintendent will come in and clean up the mess. They are hoping to be valued in the district once again instead of being the scapegoat.

Amazing how one incompetent person can undue decades of good work.

The Hammer
lehi, utah

As an accountant who is aware of the audit process this type of fraud is very hard to detect because the amounts are actually very insignificant and they are normally audited by young auditors who are still learning. The State Audit office did a very good job for handling this case and getting the right people involved to conduct a through investigation. These financial audits are important and I am glad we have a CPA at our state office who encourages these types of financial audits. Thank you Auston Johnson for your professionalism and service!

green_earth
Rexburg, ID

Don't know Wong, don't know anyone in power (or in low-power) at all here. But, seriously, over seven years they find $~11K in discrepancy? They find that proper supervision was not used? I have no issue with the need to investigate the fact that there is money that wasn't tracked, or policy not followed. But for all the publicity and outcry, this is ridiculous. Wong should not have lost his job, and outside of the bloated public monopoly, he wouldn't have. Why? Because he is effective, and we're talking about an amount of money that does not indicate fraudulent activity when you compare it against what "could" happen if one really wanted to take money from that system. And for those who think this $11K is a big deal, if you think that's all it cost to perform these audits, dream on. The call to accountability was needed, but job loss and tarnishing of Wong's good name, wasn't.

Wendall Hoop
Murray, UT

Wow, $10,000? And this investigation probably has cost over $50,000. That makes a whole lot of sense.

kiaoraguy
Provo, UT

Does the school board bear any responsibility in any of this?

CougarBlue
Heber City, UT

Dear Bruin, please read this quote from the article. Gentry confirmed Wednesday that Wong was not the only employee to receive discipline, but he would not elaborate.

"There are other administrators at the school who have been disciplined, but that’s a personnel issue and we don’t discuss those outside executive session,” Gentry said.

CougarBlue
Heber City, UT

I had to clean up a similar situation in my last school. No money was missing, but the money was mixed in school and non school accounts, coaches were getting monies for outside tournaments when they had no money in their accounts etc. Some coaches left because they didn't like the policies I put into place. What they didn't realize I was protecting their teaching credential and the credentials of our school.

Hellooo
Salt Lake City, UT

Re: kaoraguy As the district board they are fully responsible and should all be voted out. Further, it is amazing that other administrators were disciplined, but somehow their names can not be given out. Only Mr. Wong's is made public and run through the mud. And we are to believe this was not a attempt to CYA others and to smear this man.

Kami
Bountiful, Utah

Some of the responses are really amazing to me! It apparently isn't important that only a "little" bit of money in the big picture was misued? It apparently isn't wrong that a coach misuses funds because, after all, he's just a coach and not paid very much anyway? OH MY HECK! If anyone wants an understanding of why the US is going to the dump right now, all they need to do is read this thread! What in the heck happened to "are you honest in your business dealings!!!!". Do so many of you really think that you wouldn't know if you put some extra cash in your pocket that didn't come by way of your paycheck that there was something WRONG with that!

SLCguy
Murray, UT

Hey, HEADLINE WRITER person

How about thousands of dollars not deposited, but several Million dollars were!

Or nearly 1/30th of 1% of Timpview Football funds missing?

Not sexy enough for you?
Sorry, I just HATE it when I'm ...... what's that word?...... accurate

Silent Lurker
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Can someone please explain why this school was raising millions of dollars for a high school football team? Do all the high schools do this same thing? Is there a listing of funds raised by each schools booster club? Isn't this creating the same type of environment that the NCAA had to finally put an end to with their rules? Seems like there would be an unfair advantage for schools with so much funding.

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