District 300 Extracurricular Activity Fund Thief Sentenced to Restitution of $75,000, Time Served, Community Service and Probation

The Daily Herald’s Josh Stockinger reported Friday that former District 300 Dundee-Crown High School secretary Lisa Burkhart-Foster of East Dundee was sentenced to repay Carpentersville District 300 $75,000 she apparently finally admits stealing from an extracurricular activity fund for sports related and other activities over a four-year period. It started in 2002.

Apparently the loss of the money was discovered during the school district’s big push to hike the tax rate 55-cents per $100 of assessed valuation, plus authorize over $100 million in building borrowing.

But the loss wasn’t made public until after the hard-fought tax hike campaign financed by District 300 vendors and developers.

The January before last School Board President Joe Stevens emailed me the following when I asked him the status of the investigation:

“Regarding the $100,000 suspected lost from the student activity fund, we have now completed our forensic audit and it does validate such a loss occurred.

“We fully expect to recover all of the money through our insurance provider.

“The matter now rests with the States Attorney awaiting further action.”

Ken Arndt

In an August 6, 2007, letter to Daily Herald reporter Emily Krone, District 300 School Superintendent Ken Arndt releases a timeline which includes

  • 2005: Central Office employees identified concerns with student activity accounts and began pursuing answers to their concerns
  • September 2006 (after the rate hike and bond referendums, I would note): D300 launched a series of proactive steps to research, define, and correct the root cause(s) of the bookkeeping problems.
  • July 2006: D300 filed a police report on the matter with after determining that embezzlement was probable.
  • July 2007: D300 filed papers in Kane County Circuit Court seeking financial documentation to help answer the remaining questions, which are relevant both to District’s insurance claim and possible criminal charges.

The local police department says above that the thief was notice by District 300 officials on May 7, 2006.  It was not reported, however, until July 6, 2006.

You may notice that it is now May, 2010.  (Click to enlarge.)

It has taken four years for the taxpayers to receive a semblance of justice.

Interviews are in process to select Supt. Arndt’s replacement.

Since then, there has been a report of a Huntley School District parent-teacher organization treasurer doing something similar and a probe is now going on at Crystal Lake High School District 155 for which no resolution has been revealed.

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