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Paso Robles school district board approves investigation into district spending

The investigation will look into alleged fraud and the district's reserve loss among other issues
Posted: 10:25 AM, Oct 10, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-10 13:25:43-04
Paso Robles school district board approves investigation into district spending

The Paso Robles Unified School District is funding an independent investigation into the district's overspending in the last few years.

The school board is setting aside up to $50,000 to pay an accounting firm to examine the books from the last few years.

The non-audit examination will look into the district's reserve loss and overspending during previous superintendent Chris Williams' administration.

The district says there is nothing the state or county has found that would make them believe there is any sign of fraud from the former superintendent's administration.

"We certainly have found instances of overspending and overly optimistic projections and some accounting errors but nothing that would suggest some criminal malfeasance," said Curt Dubost, the district's current superintendent.

Joel Peterson, the president of the Paso Robles Joint Unified District Board of Trustees, says the board has tried to keep the budget issues away from the classrooms as much as possible.

"If anything, we'll probably do some programs of reduction of management staff and ultimately there may have to be some cuts and we'll have to look at those when they come to us," Peterson added.

The district hopes to get out the appropriate information to the accounting firm within the next two to four weeks in hopes of getting answers back by the end of this year or the start of the next.

If it is found that a crime was committed, that information will be forwarded to the County Office of Education which would then pass the information on to the state.

The board of trustees says it is still trying to evaluate which specific areas will be examined in the non-audit.