Getting Schooled

Assistant Superintendent Jorge Guzman was appointed as interim superintendent in July, when Rupi Boyd was placed on leave.

On Nov. 1, Rupi Boyd resigned from her post as superintendent of Soledad Unified School District after two months on paid leave. She agreed to resign, and to not sue the district for discrimination, after an audit showed evidence of misappropriation of funds and possible fraud on her part.

Auditors made the results public in May and said “pervasive” and “systematic” problems were found with 143 checks issued from July 1, 2013 through Dec. 29, 2015 worth more than $500,000. The sample represented less than 2 percent of the total number of checks for that time period, but it was still enough for Nancy Kotowski, Monterey County superintendent of schools, to request that the District Attorney’s Office look into the case.

Three months after prosecutors began investigating, Chief Assistant District Attorney Berkley Brannon says “plenty of wrongdoing” has been found. But that does not necessarily mean criminal wrongdoing.

“We are not ready to file criminal charges,” he says.

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Instead, Brannon says, evidence of mismanagement and failure to follow department policy when handling school property is clear.

Kotowski declined to comment on the ongoing investigation, but in a statement says the Monterey County Office of Education is providing “guidance and assistance to the Soledad Unified School District board and staff, where appropriate.”

As the investigation continues and the district recovers, longtime SUSD administrator Jorge Guzman is serving as interim superintendent. The board is developing a process for selecting a long-term replacement.

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