Melrose High School in Memphis has sat in the heart of Orange Mound since the late 1800s, a school for years steeped in pride, rich history and tradition.
It is now the subject of an audit that has uncovered several examples of fraud and even theft. The findings are so serious the audit has been sent to the Tennessee Comptroller's Office and the Shelby County School's Labor Relations Department.
READ 50-page audit report on Melrose High School: http://content.foxtvmedia.com/whbq/melrosehsaudit2013.pdf
The findings of the audit are so serious that the school's principal, Chief Executive Principal Leviticus Pointer, has been place on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Melrose High principal on leave after audit
Former Melrose High School grad William Ayers and former teacher William Mardis both say the most recent accusations are unsettling.
"Leadership is suppose to be one that's leading all the rest of them - teachers, students - and set good examples," Ayers said. "That is what the principal is suppose to do, set a good example for the school."
"The man at the top is the man who's responsible regardless if it's good or whether it's bad," Mardis added,
In this case, the news doesn't look good. The State Comptroller and the district's Labor Relation Department are involved in this investigation. Pointer is on administrative leave after an audit shows his staff was given wide authority against policies of the district.
In the almost 50-page audit, there are accusations the school librarian paid himself more than $4,700 to coach the wrestling team. The issue is this school doesn't have a wrestling team.
In the audit, it also points to 185 pieces of missing school equipment from 2011 to 2012, because they were not secured.
Also the school did not pay state or local taxes, on $18,000 for the sale of inventory sold on school property.
There is also an accusation of taxpayers footing an $1,100 bill for student-athletes to attend a tournament. The audit shows the students never went to the tournament, questioning where the money is.
"Out of respect for the implicated employees' due process rights, we will not comment on the audit until the investigation is complete," said district spokeswoman Stefani Everson.
The audit focus on the timeframe between May of 2012 and April 2013 after allegations were made by the Melrose High alumni and Concerned Citizens of Orange Mound.