$179K missing from San Diego Unified School District program

Missing deposits may be linked to clerk

SAN DIEGO - Tens of thousands of dollars that disappeared from a program operated within the San Diego Unified School District may be traced to an employee, according to search warrants obtained by 10News.

According to the warrants, the female employee has worked for the school district for nine years, and it was during that time she may have embezzled nearly $180,000.

The missing money disappeared from the district's Early Childhood Education Programs, specifically from the Child Development Centers (CDCs) formerly at Ross Elementary School in Clairemont and Fletcher Elementary School in Serra Mesa.

Over a five-year period, $179,000 disappeared from the two centers, with the bulk of the money from Ross Elementary, according to the warrants.

Parent Ronald Jack, whose children have attended Fletcher Elementary, was surprised to learn about the missing money, and he told 10News, "Oh my God, that's horrible. We need to know if something like this is going on."

10News learned San Diego County District Attorney's Office investigators questioned a woman -- a full-time child center clerk hired in 2003 --.about the missing money.

The woman is not being named because she has not been charged with a crime. 10News' attempts to contact the woman were unsuccessful.

An internal audit at the school district office confirmed the financial discrepancies after the district switched to new software last summer.

After the switch, it was discovered that the activity recorded on the ledger and what was deposited into the trust fund bank accounts for the CDCs did not match up.

10News learned the ledgers were the responsibility of the clerk.

The warrants also revealed that since the woman was confronted by investigators in June 2011, there have been no further financial discrepancies.

School district officials told 10News they are cooperating with the investigation and "all the information they have has been sent to the district attorney's office."

An official with the district attorney's office told 10News, "We don't confirm or comment on investigations."

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