Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ex-Employee Seeking Spot on School Board Payroll Director Ousted after Negative Audit Is Candidate

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ex-Employee Seeking Spot on School Board Payroll Director Ousted after Negative Audit Is Candidate

Article excerpt

Sharon Kraus lost her job as payroll director at the Fox School District more than a year ago after a negative audit report left her to blame for bookkeeping problems. Now, she's trying to rejoin the district by running for the School Board.

Kraus, of Imperial, will face off April 1 against two incumbents and two newcomers, all seeking two spots on the seven-member board. The other candidates are board President Gary Prindiville, board member Terri Eldridge and newcomers Carolyn Broach and Bill Hogan, all of Arnold.

Kraus, 49, the sister of former board member Kevin Kraus, says she wants to repair employee morale and make sure the district maintains and strengthens standards for the students. She also talks about the district's financial situation. "I feel there needs to be someone on the board who understands the financial aspects of the school district so the problems don't happen again," Kraus said this week. "There is nobody on the board who knows the accounting, and that's one of the reasons I'm running. I know the accounting system backwards and forwards." Nevertheless, the district fired her after an audit revealed problems in several financial areas, including payroll and cash disbursements. Kraus has a suit pending against the district for back pay and benefits. That audit said the district had not reconciled its books in more than a year and had allowed some employees to write their own checks. Other checks, the report revealed, were written for incorrect amounts. Kraus was blamed for failing to recover overpayments, failing to properly document duplicate payments and failing to file federal and state tax reports. Kraus has blamed the district's financial woes on a new computer system installed in the fall of 1994 and on a lack of support in the department. She said top district administrators ignored her when she began to complain about the new system and a lack of assistants. Kraus added that she had refused to resign when the board gave her that option. …

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