Berkeley schools head steps down in connection with old AP audit

The head of the $23 million Berkeley, California, Schools Excellence Program (BSEP) recently stepped down, the Mercury News reports. Nancy Hoeffer resigned after details came to light regarding an accounts payable audit that revealed numerous financial discrepancies at the nonprofit she used to oversee.

Hoeffer previously served as executive director of the nonprofit Community Energy Services Corporation (CESC), which worked to make energy-efficient improvements to Berkeley residences. In 2007, she was fired in connection with misuse of funds.

The AP audit showed she had improperly paid herself and her employees year-end bonuses, disregarding a contract that required unspent federal funds to be paid back to the city. Additionally, auditors were unable to locate accounts payable files for unknown CESC vendors, as well as "an entire box containing payroll records" for fiscal year 2004.

Hoeffer said she had been open about her history when applying to head the BSEP. However, Berkeley school board member Leah Wilson told the news source she was unaware Hoeffer had been fired by CESC.

According to the BSEP's website, the money it distributes is assigned where it's most needed among area schools, with the aim of nurturing student achievement and providing a range of learning experiences. 

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