USD 418 sets Ruder restitution at over $4,000

By Chris Swick
July 17, 2015

McPherson USD 418 officials have released the figure former Associate Superintendent Chris Ruder is being asked to repay following his resignation over the misuse of funds late last month.

According to an email to KBBE News from McPherson Superintendent Mark Crawford, Ruder was notified in a letter sent Monday from district attorney Brian Bina that he is to pay $4,192.70 in restitution. This is on top of the $683.92 he reimbursed the district on June 19 after an investigation by auditors Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk and Loyd.

That investigation stemmed from a special audit over the USD 418 administration usage of purchase cards. By June 15, Ruder was the sole focus of the investigation, as no other wrongdoing on the part of district administration was found.

Ruder admitted to personal charges on the district credit card on June 19 and was suspended following an executive session with the board on June 22.

Ruder resigned from the district on June 29.

“The proper use of public money has led us down a road no one anticipated,” Crawford said in the email, which was also sent to USD 418 school board members July 10. “Our auditor, school attorney and [Central Office] staff have turned over every rock in our internal investigation and now the matter is in the hands of local law enforcement. The internal controls and our protocols as outlined in district policy were followed by all but one employee.”

Crawford added that the accountability system he inherited from former superintendent Dr. Randy Watson was successful, as red flags appeared that led them to investigate further.

The issue has also been turned over to the McPherson Police Department. No details are available as to the nature of their investigation, as it is ongoing.