Almost $7 million in assets unaccounted for at LAPS

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By Carol A. Clark

“I’m flabbergasted and I’m speechless,” said school board member Alison Beckman of the $6,671,129 in capital assets discovered missing from the district by independent auditors.

The audit finds Los Alamos Public Schools does not have sufficient detailed records to adequately track capital assets for the year ended June 30, 2007.

The schools did not maintain a detailed capital asset inventory listing that was reconciled to the general ledger, according to the auditor’s report. The ending capital assets balance for the prior year’s end did not agree with current year beginning balances resulting in a restatement amount of $6,671,129.

“We’re not saying the assets went out the door or were lost - it’s just poor accounting,” said John Wolfe, LAPS director of business services.

“Are we staying on top of it now, John?” School Board Vice President Joan Ahlers asked Wolfe.

“We are working hard on it,” he said. I’m not saying we’re perfect, but we’ve come a long way,” he said.

LAPS is writing off the $6.6 million loss.

Wolfe inherited the tenuous financial situation last year following the abrupt departure of business director Peter Garcia and comptroller Sean Trujillo.

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