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Published: Saturday, 12/20/2008

Toledo Public Schools requests state audit asked over former aide

Toledo Public Schools has requested a special state audit of the district's finances after learning about an investigation involving its former business manager.

Daniel Burns, 53, now the chief operating officer of the Cleveland school district, was placed on paid administrative leave earlier this month after questions concerning equipment worth at least $160,000 were raised during a routine annual examination.

Mr. Burns left TPS in June, 2006, for the Cleveland job with Eugene Sanders, the former Toledo superintendent who is now the Cleveland district's chief executive officer.

"At this time we have no proof of any impropriety, but feel the voluntary audit is the right thing to do to ensure full disclosure," read a statement from TPS Superintendent John Foley and Treasurer Dan Romano.

"We remain committed to providing the best financial practices and transparency in our operations to our community."

The statement noted that it would be inappropriate for district representatives and the Toledo Board of Education to provide additional information until the state auditor's office has completed its work.

Few details have been released about the probe concerning Mr. Burns and his assistant in Cleveland, Shenee McCoy-Gibbons, since they were placed on administrative leave Dec. 10.

The state auditor's and Cuyahoga County sheriff's offices are investigating that matter.

It is not known how long the special Toledo audit might take.

Mr. Burns retired from TPS June 30, 2006, after more 30 years with the district, the last three as chief business manager.

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