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Eldred business official resigns; financial investigation underway

November 20, 2012

Statement by Robert M. Dufour, Superintendent of Eldred Central School District:

On Monday, Nov. 19, the Eldred Central School District Board of Education requested and accepted the unconditional resignation of School Business Official William Thornton, effective immediately.

The board asked for Thornton’s resignation after allegations of financial improprieties in the district came to light over the weekend.

The State Police are conducting a criminal investigation, and the district is cooperating fully, said Eldred Superintendent Robert M. Dufour. The district is also initiating a forensic audit to ascertain whether there are any other financial improprieties beyond what was reported to police.

“We are not at liberty to release any additional information at this time, because of the on-going investigation,” Dufour said. While the extent of possible financial losses in the district has not yet been determined, Eldred does carry insurance that would help reimburse the district for losses that can’t otherwise be recovered.

Kevin Callagy, who is employed by the Sullivan County BOCES as shared business administrator, has been appointed acting district treasurer. He will assume Thornton’s responsibilities for the short term, assisted by the Sullivan County BOCES Central Business Office, while the district looks for a long-term replacement for Thornton.

Thornton has worked for the district as school business administrator since 2010. Prior to that, he was the school district treasurer / business manager.