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EVIT reinstates superintendent after criminal charges dropped

Chad Wilson (East Valley Institute of Technology Photo)

PHOENIX – The superintendent of a Mesa technical school system was reinstated Monday after criminal charges against him related to spending at a previous job were dropped.

The East Valley Institute of Technology Governing Board voted 8-0 to reinstate Chad Wilson as the EVIT Career Technical Education District’s top official.

“Thank you to board members and the many members of the community that have stood by me during difficult times,” Wilson said in a press release.

He called the charges related to his time as superintendent of the Apache Junction Unified School District “fundamentally flawed allegations.”

Wilson had been reassigned because his state fingerprint clearance card was revoked while the case against him was active.

He is required to have active fingerprint clearance to serve as superintendent. He’d been serving in the role of director of external affairs, which didn’t require a fingerprint card.

EVIT administrator Dana Kuhn served as acting superintendent until Wilson’s situation was resolved.

In September 2019, Wilson was indicted by a grand jury for allegedly misusing public money.

He was accused of giving Apache Junction staff more than $133,000 in compensation, including performance pay, without informing the district or getting approval.

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office dismissed the charges — one count of theft and three counts of misuse of public monies — without prejudice in January, clearing Wilson to regain his fingerprint clearance, according to the release.

Wilson, head of the Apache Junction district from 2009 to 2017, was charged with one count of theft and three counts of misuse of public monies, both felonies.

Wilson became the interim superintendent of EVIT after the school’s board voted to place three of its top officials on administrative leave for an undisclosed reason in January.

The board appointed him to the position permanently in July.

“Under Dr. Wilson’s leadership, EVIT has embraced a new spirit of staff collaboration and community service that has empowered EVIT employees and strengthened our partnerships with our sending school districts and other community organizations,” Governing Board President Ronda Doolen said in the release.

“At the same time, he has worked to reduce administrative costs and increase support for our teachers and students while being mindful that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.”

The career-training education district makes its programs available to East Valley high school students and adults.

EVIT has two campuses in Mesa and one branch each in Apache Junction and Fountain Hills.

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