TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Arizona Auditor General has conducted an investigation into claims of fraud after Sunnyside Unified School District officials reported financial misconduct by former Parents as Teachers program coordinator Joan Katz.
The investigation revealed that from January through March 2019, Katz allegedly falsified, or directed a subordinate employee to falsify, records to conceal her failure to comply with district purchasing requirements. Katz was found did not research competitive price quotes, as required by district policy, and instead purchased $1,374 of services from her daughter’s company and $2,500 of services from a District employee’s company. The purchases are both considered as conflicts of interest, which the district had no prior knowledge of.
The report was given to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, who on September 20, 2021, presented evidence to the State Grand Jury. Katz’s has now been indicted on 5 felony counts related to conflict of interest, fraudulent schemes, and filing false instruments.