Our investigation revealed that from July 2002 to September 2007, former Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services Director Mr. Patrick Chorpenning, Sr., authorized the expenditure of $1,001,640 in possible violation of several state laws. Specifically, Mr. Chorpenning may have violated:
- Conflict-of-interest laws by participating in authorizing his son’s employment agreements with the Department on four occasions and failing to disclose his conflict of interest. Payments for his son’s employment totaled $215,984.
- Conflict-of-interest laws by directing department employees to hire his wife, creating a position for her, and later approving a 35 percent increase to her salary. Mr. Chorpenning’s wife collected $114,104 in department payments.
- State laws concerning fraudulent schemes by attempting to conceal his improper involvement in hiring his son and his wife.
- State laws concerning the use of public monies by improperly gifting public monies to individuals and private corporations totaling $288,795.
- State laws concerning the use of public monies and procurement fraud by circumventing procurement rules in order to purchase media and advertising services totaling $382,757.
On November 18, 2009, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office took criminal action against Mr. Chorpenning, which resulted in his indictment on eight felony charges related to the misuse of public monies, conflict of interest, procurement fraud, and fraudulent schemes.