Audit Finds Mismanagement and Potential Fraud at Sweetwater Union High School District

An audit of the Sweetwater Union High School District in Chula Vista released on Monday suggests district administrators deceived a credit rating agency by withholding negative financial reports prior to getting approval for a 2018 bond measure.

The audit, conducted by the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, also says administrators presented “incomplete and inaccurate financial information” to the board of trustees during a discussion on teacher raises. That information “significantly understated the projected cost” and “significantly distorted the district’s fiscal position.” As a result, Sweetwater overspent by more than $30 million in 2017-18.

The audit implicates the superintendent, the former chief financial officer and director of fiscal services, and an outside financial adviser as potentially breaking the law. The audit blames the San Diego County Office of Education for a lack of oversight that made these actions possible.

In response to the review, County Office of Education Superintendent Paul Gothold said there was “significant evidence“ to indicate that fraud may have occurred.

Read more about the results of the audit at Voice of San Diego