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Joseph City Unified School District—Criminal Indictment—Theft and Misuse of Public Monies


As part of their responsibility to prevent and detect fraud, Joseph City Unified School District (District) officials took appropriate action by reporting to us an allegation of financial misconduct by former high school attendance secretary Tonnie Pugh. Our investigation revealed that from July 2011 through January 2018, Ms. Pugh may have embezzled $40,436 from the District when she failed to deposit cash receipts and admittedly “borrowed” the money for her personal use. Additionally, Ms. Pugh may have falsified District records to help conceal her actions. We have submitted our report to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, which on November 2, 2020, presented evidence to the State Grand Jury. The action resulted in Ms. Pugh’s indictment on 3 felony counts related to theft, misuse of public monies, and fraudulent schemes.