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Former Warsaw maintenance director sued by Indiana AG

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller's office is suing former Warsaw schools maintenance director Gregory Schroeder and Continental Maintenance Specialties Inc. of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky for nearly $1 million.

An audit by the State Board of Accounts found Schroeder used school district funds to purchase large amounts of chemical supplies from Continental Maintenance Specialties in amounts more than the district needed and received kickbacks for arranging the purchases, according to the Indiana Attorney General's office release.

The state is seeking repayment in the amount of $828,161.07 in allegedly excessive and unreasonable costs, $115,620.87 in alleged kickback payments and reimbursement for the investigation expenses in the amount of $45,135.63, according to the Indiana Attorney General's release.

“This is among the most egregious public corruption situations we have seen of a vendor fraudulently billing the taxpayers and a government employee gaming the system in order to enrich themselves. This misuse of school resources illustrates how financial abuses can occur through a lack of internal accounting controls, something our Public Integrity Coalition has attempted to address proactively through training.  My office will do our utmost to claw back the funds the defendants misappropriated and return them to the school corporation so they can be put to their proper operational use,” Attorney General Zoeller said. 

As part of their investigation, the State Board of Accounts compared the amount of chemicals Warsaw Schools should need compared to what was purchased.

The State Board of Accounts says Schroeder spent $790,298.33 on 16,869 gallons of kitchen drain cleaner.

The board of accounts found the maximum reasonable costs should have been $40,291 for 860 gallons, according to the Attorney General's Office.

According to the state, there were 90 instances where Schroeder was allegedly paid kickbacks in excess of $115,000 between June 1, 2006 and September 24, 2012. They were made via check, money orders and payments on a Harley Davidson motorcycle made on his behalf, according to the State Board of Accounts audit.

The state is suing Schroeder and the company in civil court.

Both Stowers and Schroeder are facing criminal charges in Kosciusko County.

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