Indian Creek Schools investigated, $5K missing over 4 years

A former Indian Creek High School employee mishandled nearly $5,000 over the course of four years, according to a state agency.

Douglas McKinley, a former high school music teacher and choir director, failed to turn over funds collected from concessions during more than 20 performances between 2014 and 2018, in addition to about $3,500 collected from parents and students for field trips and other items during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years, an investigation by the State Board of Accounts revealed.

McKinley has not been arrested or charged. He resigned on May 4, 2018, the superintendent said.

The State Board of Accounts completed the investigation on March 4, and forwarded the information to the Indiana Attorney General and Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office.

Prosecutors plan to meet with the Trafalgar Police Department, which conducted its own investigation, to determine if any charges should be filed, said Joe Villanueva, chief deputy prosecutor.

In the spring of 2018, a new Indian Creek Schools treasurer and administrator noticed discrepancies in a choir department receipt book and what McKinley was actually putting in the extracurricular fund. The school district reported it to Trafalgar police and State Board of Accounts.

“As soon as we found out, we dealt with it swiftly and seriously,” said Tim Edsell, superintendent. “We want to make sure that all of our funds are being accounted for properly.”

Investigators analyzed choir funds collected and receipted between March 5, 2015 and April 27, 2018, according to the report.

Mishandled funds include those collected from parents and students for a Beef and Boards trip, solo and ensemble competitions, choir outfits, t-shirts, donations and fundraisers, the report said.

During the 2016-17 school year, receipts show McKinley collected $725, and deposited $455. During the 2017-18 school year, he collected $10,494, and deposited $8,489. That left $3,522 unaccounted for, according to the report.

No money collected during 21 separate performances of eight shows between 2014 and 2018 was deposited in the school’s extra-curricular account, the investigation revealed. Investigators estimated McKinley collected about $1,371 from concessions during that time based on averages collected during past performances.

In addition to the $4,893 McKinley owes the school district, he also owes the state $2,799 to cover the cost of the investigation, according to the audit.

Any money returned to the school would be directed to the appropriate extra-curricular account and would go toward choir expenses, Edsell said.