The Dayton Independent School district in Kentucky announced Thursday, former superintendent, Gary Rye, is responsible for paying back every penny he stole during his 15-year tenure.
Rye was initially accused of stealing about $224,000 in benefits from the district between 2007 and 2012, but investigations into his earlier years turned up much more.
Matt DeMarcus, the school board’s attorney, announced at a news conference Thursday Rye is responsible for paying back $473,000 over the next ten years. The independent auditing firm that reviewed the board’s account during Rye’s tenure is responsible for paying $38,000.
Rosann Sharon, Chair of Dayton’s Board of Education, says the board plans on making a few changes to ensure this doesn’t happen again. They’ve created a budget committee, and hired a new internal auditor that will be rotated every several years. Also, business expense reimbursements requested by the superintendent have to be approved by the board.
Kentucky State Auditor, Adam Edelen, who was one of the main investigators in the case, wanted to send a message to the state of Kentucky. He said, “There is a consequence for stealing from children, particularly ones who need a fighting chance like they need in this district.”
According to Edelen, the Dayton school district was spending about $400 less on each student than the average Kentucky school does in a year. However, the new superintendent of the district, Jay Brewer, says this reclaimed money will go straight to funding student’s educations.