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Red Mesa Unified School District No. 27—Theft of Public Monies and Malfeasance by District Officials (April 2007)

 
 

Our investigation determined that from April 2005 to July 2006, almost $360,000 in public monies was embezzled and an additional $520,000 in other public monies was misused in the following manners:

  • Mr. Stewart Waite, former Business Manager, embezzled at least $274,693 by misusing district monies and credit card privileges to purchase personal items totaling $196,555 at various retail outlets, $63,618 in cash advancements, and $520 in personal travel; and authorizing a $15,000 district check to himself, of which $14,000 was for his own personal use. In addition, Mr. Waite misused public money by participating in issuing employment contract payouts totaling more than $304,000 for both himself and William Bean. Further, Mr. Waite failed in his fiduciary responsibilities and violated procurement laws by circumventing procurement procedures when purchasing items totaling $187,924 for the District’s equestrian education program.

  • Mr. William Bean, former Superintendent, embezzled at least $85,305 by also using the district credit card for personal purchases, such as $49,245 in cash advancements, $33,282 at various retail outlets, and $2,778 for personal travel. In addition, Mr. Bean misused public money by improperly disbursing gifts totaling $28,280 to other district employees and students without substantiating the public purpose for such gifts. Further, Mr. Bean inappropriately authorized payouts of their employment contracts totaling more than $304,000 for both himself and Mr. Waite.

  • Ms. Sadie Tso, Governing Board President, also misused public money by solely authorizing the contract payouts totaling more than $304,000 for Mr. Waite and Mr. Bean outside any formal board meeting or approval.

In addition, during the onset of our investigation, Mr. Waite, Mr. Bean, Ms. Tso, and another board member established as the Board Clerk, collectively altered public records and made false statements to the Auditor General’s Office to conceal their financial misconduct and impede the investigation.  Such conduct constitutes illegal acts.

We have submitted our findings to the Attorney General’s Office, and on April 19, 2007, the State Grand Jury issued an indictment of:

  • Mr. Stewart Waite on four counts of theft, one count of fraudulent schemes and artifices, one count of forgery, and two counts of fraudulent schemes and practices.

  • Mr. William Bean on three counts of theft, one count of fraudulent schemes and artifices, and two counts of fraudulent schemes and practices.

  • Ms. Sadie Tso on two counts of theft and two counts of fraudulent schemes and practices.
     

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