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
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.