MCS Health Director faces demotion after audit reveals misspent funds

By Jason Miles - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Director of Health at Memphis City Schools faces demotion after an internal audit revealed thousands of dollars were misspent.

In an interview Tuesday, Memphis City Schools Superintendent revealed what he called, "mischief."

"I must do what I have to to employees when they break the rules," he said.

According to Cash, an audit requested last year turned up tens of thousands of dollards that were misspent dollars within the Office of Coordinated School Health.

Click here to download and read the audit.

The audit revealed that Health Director Nieika Parks broke board policy by making a number unauthorized purchases, including $65,000 on furniture for clinic waiting rooms, when only $6,000 were allocated.

More than $678 was spent to throw a baby shower for an employee.

There was also an issue of nepotism at Northside High School, where thousands of dollars were steered to a landscaping company owned by Parks' brother-in-law for work at a new health clinic here.

"I think there was some poor judgement being used to hasten things along and not follow board policy," Cash said.

Cash said he decided to reassign Dr. Parks rather than fire her, partly because she did not use the money for personal gain.

But her actions will be a lesson for others.

"We have to be perfect," Cash said. "We have to work to try and be perfect, anyway, in our work."

Cash said Parks re-paid the money used for the baby shower.

She is the second health director to be demoted in recent years.

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