State agency finds evidence fraud may have occurred involving Sweetwater district finances

A state fiscal agency found “significant evidence” that current and former employees with the Sweetwater Union High School District may have committed fraud, misappropriation of funds or other illegal practices, according to the results of a long-awaited audit report announced Monday night by the San Diego County superintendent of schools.

The report also found violations of board policy, education and government code, and securities laws, San Diego County Superintendent Paul Gothold said.

Sweetwater Superintendent Karen Janney and district finance staff violated their fiduciary duties, the report found. District staff intentionally misrepresented the district’s finances and left out and delayed information when presenting the district’s finances to the school board and to bond market participants, the report said.

Some financial staff referenced in the report are no longer with the district, including the chief financial officer. Janney has led the district since 2015.

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