Missing PTO money at Houston middle school prompts police investigation

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Houston police have begun an investigation into funds missing from a Heights area school, KHOU reported. 

The president of the Hamilton Middle School parent-teacher organization told the TV station he discovered the group’s account had been drained nearly dry and he has no idea where the money went.

Oscar Gonzales, who took over as president of the school’s PTO last summer, told the TV station he found that the organization had a balance of $29,000 in May 2018 but just $2,100 when he checked it in June 2019. There are no receipts or invoices to show how the money was spent. 

“It makes me very angry,” Gonzales told KHOU. “Angry, upset, disappointed.”

The TV station asked former PTO president William Jaudon about the missing money, but he could not account for the funds. After abruptly ending an interview, Jaudon later texted KHOU and said he left a box of receipts in the PTO closet before he left his post, but Gonzales said no such box was ever found.

KHOU found that while there is no documentation on how the money was spent, withdrawal slips with Jaudon’s name and signature show he withdrew at least $7,760 from the PTO account in cash. He also took $1,800 out of the account using the school’s PTO bank card during the week of Christmas one year. 

Gonzales said it’s hard to justify such a large withdrawal when there were no school events going on during Christmas break.

Gonzales told KHOU he also found questionable expenses on bank statements, including purchases of several hundred dollars each at furniture, electronics and computer stores.

The PTO has a policy requiring board members to develop a written agreement for any expenses, but the PTO was never notified, he said.   

“The bottom line is that we have policies and procedures giving permission for somebody to make an expense and spend money,” Gonzales told the TV station. “And none of those protocols were followed.”

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