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June 11, 2013

IU IV director explains prior credit card system

NEW CASTLE — The Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV’s acting executive director said his work-issued credit card came with checks and balances.

Angelo Pezzuolo was appointed to the temporary position in April after the resignation of Cecelia H. Yauger. She has come under fire for her credit card charges from 2007 through March.

Pezzuolo was the IU IV’s executive director for 15 years before retiring in 2007.

Yauger stepped down April 24 and signed a resignation agreement with the IU.

Pezzuolo said that during his tenure in the top position, he had an intermediate unit-issued credit card and there were unit-issued cards and a Wal-Mart card for some programs, such as special education and serving the homeless.

“The cards normally are kept here (in the office) but if the employees would need a product of some sort, they come and get the card and use it and bring it back along with receipts for the purchases made,” he explained.

Pezzuolo pointed out those were always small purchases. “For example, in the teen parenting program, there would be diverse supplies not expensive in nature.”

Pezzuolo said he had an American Express card.

“The expenses I might have incurred were, for example, if I went to Harrisburg there would be a hotel charge, maybe a dinner charge, and we’d bring the receipt back and our secretary would put it on a purchase order that I would sign. Then it would go to the business office, and then would move on to the financial department.”

Yauger’s credit card statements showed some rental cars.

The IU IV professional employees, including the director, are paid the Internal Revenue Service rate for mileage for work-related travel, Pezzuolo said.

The board has a policy that dictates how an employee would go about renting a car, he added.

“Sometimes, if there is a trip to Harrisburg for example, if the staff chooses not to drive their own vehicles and take mileage, they will rent a car. In a situation like that, they are not paid mileage, but that doesn’t happen on a regular basis.”

IU IV board member Lynn Foltz of the Wilmington school district, said the board is in the process of tightening its policies on financial transactions “to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

She also has suggested a whistle-blower policy.

At its May 22 meeting, the board had its first reading of two new policies and changes to two policies under finances. Those address credit cards, fraud, what expenses are legitimate and reporting of misuse.

She said the policies will have two more readings before final approval.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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