State investigators have found evidence of illegal activity within the Stockton Unified School District, according to an audit report released Tuesday afternoon.
Other findings include possible Brown Act violations by the district’s Board of Education, a disregard by trustees and the superintendent of board policies and the law, conflicts of interest and abuse of power.
The state investigation, which began in February of last year and is known as an “Extraordinary Audit,” was conducted by California’s Financial Crisis & Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) investigators.
According to the agenda for the SUSD Board of Education’s Tuesday meeting, San Joaquin County Office of Education top officials — Superintendent of Schools Troy Brown and Deputy Superintendent of Business Services Scott Anderson — will be giving a “Findings and Recommendations” presentation to the board shortly after closed session. Though the agenda item doesn’t specifically mention the FCMAT report, Stockton Unified has confirmed to Stocktonia that the SJCOE presentation is indeed regarding state investigators’ findings.
The report states that investigators found “sufficient evidence to demonstrate that fraud, misappropriation of funds and/or assets, or other illegal fiscal practices may have occurred.” It is recommended that State Controller Malia Cohen, California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and San Joaquin District Attorney Ron Freitas be notified of the report’s findings. FCMAT’s role is not to pass judgment, only to investigate and present what is found.
According to California education code, an extraordinary audit is requested by the school district’s county superintendent. If the audit reveals “financial mismanagement, misuse of funds or insolvency,” Stockton Unified could be put into state receivership that would be administered by SJCOE, which “could include the termination of the (district) Superintendent and suspension of the Board of Trustees as a decision-making body.”
This FCMAT report comes on the heels of more than two years of controversy for the county’s largest school district, including two scathing grand jury reports, accusations of financial mismanagement, looming deficit and outrage from the public of the district’s handling of certain issues.
Stocktonia will livestream the county’s presentation Tuesday afternoon beginning at 5 p.m. on its Facebook and Twitter pages. In the meantime, checkout our recent coverage of the district’s woes.
Check out the full report below.
This is a developing story.