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Second TUSD board member returning campaign contribution

Posted at 7:24 PM, Sep 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-15 14:31:41-04
Following a 9OYS investigative report about campaign contributions involving two Tucson Unified School Board members, we have a new development.
 
A second board member, Cam Juarez, has decided to return the donation.
 
This comes after Kristel Foster told KGUN 9 she'll do the same thing.
 
Two board members seeking re-election -- Kristel Foster and Cam Juarez. Both received campaign donations of $5,000 dollars each -- nearly the maximum -- from Carly Brooks, a housewife in Phoenix, listed on the Pima County Elections website as the sole donor.
 
She's married to Robert Brooks, Vice President of Marketing with Educational Services Inc. (ESI), a company TUSD uses to outsource its substitute teachers and in June received a $21 million dollar contract from the TUSD board in a 3-2 vote.
 
Cam Juarez told KGUN9:
 
"I have decided to return a campaign contribution from a donor after I was made aware that this particular donor is married to an employee of a vendor that contracts with Tucson Unified. When I received the $5,000 contribution in the mail I was taken aback as I was not familiar with the donor. I certainly did not know who the donor was married to. I maintain that (I) did NOT do anything wrong in accepting this contribution, as it was made legally, with all the pertinent information required by Arizona campaign-finance law. However, now that I am privy to all the relevant details, I have decided to do what I feel is right in my heart; and that is to return her generous campaign contribution."
 
During Tuesday's Governing Board meeting, Board member Michael Hicks asked the TUSD attorney to investigate the contributions. And Cam Juarez followed requesting the investigation be extended to all five board members.
 
KGUN 9  asked attorney Todd Jaeger. His response:
 
"I am not conducting an investigation. The individual fundraising activities of school board candidates are not within my jurisdiction, nor can I expend District resources based upon the request of a single board member."
 
The attorney for Carly and Robert Brooks say both their names were on the campaign donation checks and Mr. Brooks did not attempt to conceal his identity as the originator of these campaign contributions.