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Saugus High principal defends his management of school finances

The principal of Saugus High School is defending his management of the school’s finances after reports that he was placed on leave pending an audit.

Joseph Diorio issued a statement saying his management of Saugus High “financial and otherwise” had been done in an “exemplary manner.”

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The Globe reported today that school officials said he had been placed on leave Dec. 18 pending an audit. Superintendent Richard Langlois said the leave was not disciplinary and no conclusion had been reached on Diorio. A School Committee member said the audit would focus on a student activities account that has been “an issue for a long period of time.”

Diorio said in his statement that he had “worked diligently to manage the student activity checking account by strictly adhering to the local administrative procedures prescribed and state law requirements as I understand them.”

He said that after an audit in 2011, “recommendations were made, which were promptly implemented.”

He said he had been coooperating fully with the review, had made himself to the officials conducting it, and had never been out of touch with Langlois’s office.

“I look forward to assisting with the review in any way I can and hope it will progress efficiently and expeditiously so that my unblemished reputation can be restored and I can return soon to the important business of leading Saugus High School,” he said in the statement.

Rumors had flown at the school about Diorio’s absence since he was last seen three weeks ago, with students posting “Missing” fliers with his picture around town and messages with the hashtag #FindDiorio posted on Twitter. School officials broke their silence about the reason for his absence on Wednesday.

“I regret the rumors of my disappearance, which were completely false,” Diorio said in the statement.

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