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December 8, 2003

School for the Deaf and Blind to answer audit questions

From: WTEV, FL - Dec 8, 2003

(Tallahassee-AP) -- Officials from the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind are in Tallahassee today to answer some tough questions.

Members of the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee want information after a state audit pointed out financial mismanagement. There are questions about some iffy land deals, in which the school twice received state money to buy the same parcel of land. The school also is accused of illegally paying a lobbyist 160-thousand dollars in state funds and placing more than a (m) million dollars in private bank accounts instead of in the state treasury as required.

The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind is near St. Augustine. The committee meeting has been requested by legislator Doug Wiles, whose district includes the school.

Wiles says he's a big supporter of the school, which is why he wants it held accountable for its financial practices.

©2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved.