Bridgeport school district missing $80K

BRIDGEPORT – An individual, or more than one person, has reportedly hacked into the Bridgeport Exempted Village School District’s computer system and $80,000 is missing.

Superintendent Ted Downing said Tuesday afternoon that “our system was compromised sometime last week. We were notified by Citizens Bank that our account was overdrawn.”

Without going into too many specifics due to pending legal ramifications, Downing stressed, “No one in the district is guilty of fraud or embezzling.

“It’s a case of fraud, but not by anyone in the district.”

Downing said that treasurer Cheryl Pritts, along with himself and several other district employees, are working with local and federal officials in an attempt to recover the missing funds.

“Eighty thousand dollars is a lot of money,” Downing confirmed. “You always think you’re safe, then you find out you’re not.”

He said the district has protocols in place to deter things like this, but they are working on improving them right now.

“We added more protocols already so that it doesn’t happen again, but you can never say never on something like this with all the technology these days.”

Downing added that the district is looking into securing an attorney for future legal issues concerning the return of the money. The district’s insurance company has also been contacted.

“We’re not leaving any stone unturned when it comes to trying to find where the money is and who is responsible for taking it,” he allowed. “There’s a lot of issues that we have to deal with. It’s a complicated ordeal right now.”

When asked why the subject, or subjects, took $80,000, Downing, replied, again without getting into many specifics, that he had an idea of why.

The superintendent also notified all employees of the district so that they can make sure they aren’t affected, as well.

A special board of education meeting has been set for Friday morning at 7 when the panel will go into executive session to discuss the possible legal ramifications.