A months-long forensic audit of New Canaan Public Schools students’ charge accounts found no evidence that the lunch ladies charged last year with stealing cash from cafeterias also depleted those funds, district officials said Monday. An audit designed to match transactions in point-of-sale systems in the Saxe Middle School and New Canaan High School cafeterias to supporting documentation and “reconcile cash receipts received from parents electronically to the proper recording in the students’ accounts” turned up no non-valid transactions, according to Dr. Jo-Ann Keating, the district’s director of finance and operations.
Quoting from a report from Joe Centofanti, a partner at PKF O’Connor Davies accounting and advisory firm, Keating told members of the Board of Education at their regular meeting, “ ‘It is important to note’—they always note this—‘that the testing done was performed on a sample basis and not all transactions were tested.’ Obviously, they sampled—they don’t do every single transaction. ‘However, based upon the results of the sampling, it was determined that it was not necessary to go and select additional transactions for testing.’ ”
“In other words, they did not find anything,” Keating said at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at NCHS. “So we were very pleased with that.”
Performed at the request of the Audit Committee and with support from the district, the forensic study was launched months after two lunch ladies were accused of stealing nearly $500,000 in cash over a period of several years. The police investigation into sisters Joanne Pascarelli and Marie Wilson had started in the fall of 2017.