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East Aurora fires insurance coordinator

Updated: November 11, 2012 6:23AM

AURORA — An insurance coordinator in the East Aurora School District’s Finance Department has been fired, school officials confirmed Tuesday.

East Aurora schools spokesman Clayton Muhammad said that Penny Halvax, secretary to the assistant superintendent for finance, was fired because of “discrepancies in record keeping for the district’s insurance.” Halvax was the district’s health benefits and insurance coordinator, Muhammad said.

According to the district’s October personnel report, Halvax was fired Sept. 28.

Halvax was not the only secretary in the Finance Department, Muhammad said, but she was the only one responsible for health insurance.

In September, after other district finance issues came to light, East Aurora School Board President Annette Johnson said she discovered that employee insurance premiums did not match insurance bills the district was paying.

“That internal control, matching insurance bills to the payroll, that was not happening,” Johnson said. “That was not being kept very clean.”

Johnson said the district’s Finance Department was not collecting the correct deductions for the employee insurance coverage.

After a series of financial discrepancies were discovered, Halvax’s boss, Assistant Superintendent of Finance Jay Augustine, announced his immediate retirement in late September.

The School Board has decided to hire an external insurance auditor to audit the district’s insurance procedures.

Halvax was hired at the district in 2000, Muhammad said.

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