Camden Co. school employee resigns after equipment turns up missing


by Nick Ochsner, 13News Now

Posted on February 13, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 13 at 7:00 PM

CAMDEN CO. -- A Camden County Schools employee has resigned after the district's superintendent launched an investigation into allegations that equipment had gone missing from a program he oversaw.

Andrew Ward, who resigned Friday from his job with the school district, administered a $1.6 millon federal grant awarded to the district to improve health and fitness programs.

The district's superintendent, Melvin Hawkins, said he began his investigation after someone reported equipment had gone missing that was purchased with money from the grant.

So far, Hawkins said, his investigation has turned up two missing iPads and a laptop computer.

In an interview Thursday, Hawkins said it was too early to know how the equipment had gone missing. He also said it was unclear if those were the only items purchased with money from the grant that cannot be accounted for.

Ward was hired to administer the grant in 2012.

A search of public court records conducted by a 13News Now reporter uncovered a 2010 judgment entered against Andrew Ward for writing hundreds of dollars worth of bad checks.

Hawkins said the school district performed a background check on Ward and was aware of his criminal record when he was hired.

Ward's record was not a concern, Hawkins explained, because his job administering the grant did not involve interacting with students.

A person home at the most recent address listed for Ward did not come to the door on Thursday.