ARIZONA NEWS

Scottsdale schools CFO resigns as district faces multiple ethics concerns

Jan 26, 2018, 5:07 AM | Updated: Jan 29, 2018, 2:44 pm

PHOENIX — The chief financial officer for a Phoenix-area school district has resigned after having been put on administrative leave due to an ongoing conflict-of-interest investigation.

According to the Scottsdale Independent, Laura Smith, the CFO for the Scottsdale Unified School District, was put on leave “pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation related to an alleged conflict of interest from May 2017.”

Laura Smith (Photo: Scottsdale Unified School District)

In a statement on Monday, Superintendent Dr. Denise Birdwell confirmed Smith’s resignation.

“This change does not impact the ongoing investigation related to Ms. Smith which will continue to conclusion,” Birdwell said. “We anticipate the governing board will receive an update on the investigation next week.

“We remain steadfast in our mission of providing the best student-focused education possible and will not waiver,” the statement read.

Birdwell outlined the “ancillary situation” to the Scottsdale Independent explaining an alleged conflict of interest, which was brought to light after the district entered into a monetary agreement with Professional Group Public Consulting, Inc.

Smith is the president and director of the financial firm.

The investigation began back in December, when attorney Susan Segal announced she was investigating the conflict, but a “series of events” that caused the community to question the ethics of its district leaders started back in 2016.

One of those events included documents that showed contracted professional Brian Robichaux had been convicted of theft in Arizona in 1998.

Robichaux was hired by the district to design elementary schools after a $229 million bond was passed. He was the former president of the Phoenix-based Hunt and Caraway Architects.

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office also has an ongoing investigation into the practices of Scottsdale Unified School District, according to the publication.

Shannon Crosier, the district’s budget manager, will be taking Smith’s spot during the investigation, Birdwell said.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Blake Masters, left (AP Photo/Ross Franklin); U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)...
KTAR.com

Watch: Arizona US Senate candidates Kelly, Masters, Victor share debate stage

With the start of early voting a week away, Arizona’s three U.S. Senate candidates are scheduled to share the stage Thursday in a live debate.
14 hours ago
Bryant James Walker (Chandler Police Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

Stalking, public indecency suspect arrested by Chandler police

Police in Chandler said Thursday they arrested a Mesa man suspected of public indecency and felony stalking.
14 hours ago
(Abrazo Health Photo)...
Alex Weiner

Abrazo West Campus acquires Arizona’s 1st Loop-X robot to assist spine surgeries

Abrazo West Campus in Goodyear is adding the new Loop-X robot to assist doctors in spine surgery operating rooms.
14 hours ago
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor, speaks during a Democratic Par...
Kevin Stone

Here’s what Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs says about Arizona abortion laws

Katie Hobbs, the Democratic nominee for Arizona governor, said the state’s near-total abortion ban goes against the will of the people and she’d work to change it if elected.
14 hours ago
Murad Dervish (University of Arizona Police Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of professor at University of Arizona

A University of Arizona professor was fatally shot at the Tucson campus Wednesday, and police said a former student was taken into custody.
14 hours ago
(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Woman dies after vehicle runs into concrete barrier on Phoenix freeway ramp

A woman was killed early Thursday when her vehicle hit a concrete barrier on a Phoenix freeway ramp, authorities said.
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Scottsdale schools CFO resigns as district faces multiple ethics concerns