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Audit Finds Manhattan Coach Withheld $20K
Dale McQueary withheld $22,000 from the school's extracurricular account
BELGRADE — An outside audit found the Manhattan High School football coach failed to deposit into school activity accounts more than $22,000 that his players brought in through fundraisers over the past two years.

A Bozeman accounting firm found Dale McQueary withheld just over $10,000 from the extracurricular account in 2012 and just over $12,000 this year, the Belgrade News reports. School officials said he spent the money on equipment and meals for football players, bypassing required school approval and leading the school to spend more money on male athletes than on female athletes.

The audit was presented to the school board on Dec. 10.

The total that auditors found was withheld over the past two years is more than double an initial estimate by the Montana School Boards Association that McQueary withheld $8,400 over three years.

The school suspended McQueary from coaching in mid-September, but a group of parents sought an injunction and a judge ordered him reinstated for the final game of the season.

The Montana High School Association found the school violated gender equity rules in its athlete spending, levied a $200 fine and placed the school on probation for a year. Superintendent Jim Notaro asked the school board to allow the $200 fine to come from the football activities fund.

Notaro did not want to comment more about the audit findings because McQueary has sued the school and Notaro over his suspension, saying he was not given ample time to respond to the findings in the initial school boards investigation before it was released to the public. McQueary also alleged the school district did not provide information on its fundraising policies to all fundraising sponsors.

McQueary's attorney, Wayne Harper, has said his client was targeted by the district because of a "vendetta over a coaching issue."
 
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