SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Missouri State University hired a woman from Rock Island, Ill., as the new director of the University Bookstore. Sonda Ropp Reinartz will replace Mark Brixey, who was fired on Aug. 17 after an investigation started over missing bookstore funds.
Reinartz will begin her duties Jan. 15. The MSU Board of Governors has to formally approve her hiring in December and her starting salary of $78,000.
“Based on her background and campus interviews, Sonda surfaced as our clear choice. Her many references confirmed our evaluation,” said Earle Doman, vice president for student affairs.
Reinartz has worked as the bookstore manager for Augustana College in Rock Island since 2006. She previously worked as the manager at bookstores at Black Hawk College in Moline, Ill., from 1996-2006, Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio, from 1991-1994, and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, from 1989-91. Reinartz also worked in bookstore management at University of Iowa in Iowa City and as an employee of Follett College Stores at George Washington University, SUNY Buffalo and Phoenix College.
Brixey was fired after an internal audit couldn't account for $400,000 in bookstore receipts between 2009 and 2012. Investigators found $81,000 in cash locked in his desk while he was on vacation. Brixey worked for the university for 21 years and was bookstore director for about a dozen years.
Despite the internal auditors' findings, Brixey has not been charged. Investigations of long-term embezzlements often take many months because the Springfield Police Department uses outside experts to document when receipts weren't deposited and where the money was diverted.