FBI looking into school district stipends

Apr 11, 2014

Questions about the use of stipends for school administrators in St. Joseph, Mo. have caught the attention of the U.S. FBI.
Credit cliff1066 / Flickr

  Federal investigators are looking into questions about a northwest Missouri school district's finances.

The St. Joseph News-Press reports FBI agents met Thursday with St. Joseph district Superintendent Fred Czerwonka and Human Resources Director Doug Flowers.

FBI spokesman Kurt Lipanovich declined to confirm the investigation, but said the agency is always interested in listening to allegations of financial fraud or misuse of funds by the school district.

A board member raised questions last month about $250,000 in unauthorized stipends awarded to top school officials at the beginning of the school year.

Czerwonka apologized Thursday for awarding stipends to all administrators, principals and assistant principals without getting permission from the board.

He has said the stipends were a way to address low administrative salaries and declining morale in the district.