Warrant unsealed in probe of ex-SDUSD trustee

Posted at 4:53 PM, Feb 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-05 19:53:11-05

A judge unsealed a search warrant connected to the investigation of now-former San Diego Unified School District board trustee Marne Foster.

Foster resigned earlier this week after she pleaded guilty to accepting gifts over the legal limit.

Team 10 requested a judge unseal the warrant, which was served on Dec. 10.

The warrant is 231 pages long and was served by the San Diego County District Attorney's Office. It listed several reasons for the investigation, including:

Improper fundraiser allegation

The warrant listed a "suspected misuse of public funds by Marne Foster in publicizing a potentially illegal fundraiser" held for Foster's two sons. The document states that Foster allegedly used a link from her official school district website to her personal Facebook account. The event was also held at a location "owned by a company that contracts with the School District."

Foster ultimately apologized for the event, calling it a mistake.

False claim against the School District

Investigators also looked into a claim filed against SDUSD on April 3, 2014. The father of Foster's two youngest children, John Marsh, filed the claim, although he said he did not know anything about it. The documents state that Marsh told the San Diego Union-Tribune "he indicated that he had signed a blank document."

The warrant goes on to say: "Marsh emphatically denied filling out the $250,000 claim and submitting it to the San Diego Unified School District."

False filing Free Meals Program

The man who publishes a blog called "District Deeds" contacted the District Attorney's Office. The blog is critical of the district and Foster.

The district attorney's office was informed that Foster "may have submitted false documentation regarding her son's eligibility for the Free or Reduced Meals Program."

False statement of Economic Interests (SEI) California form 700

As investigators tried to verify the contents of the $250,000 claim against SDUSD, they found what appeared to be an offer for Malachi Foster, Marne Foster's son, to attend an International Youth Theatre Camp.

The documents state "tuition and travel expenses were paid for by a husband and wife, who are donors of the non-profit organization." The warrant states that airfare and attendance of the camp was taken care of for Foster's son.

Foster later amended the California form 700 filing, but investigators wrote: "… the amendment does not relieve Marne Foster of her criminal liability for false previous reporting and receiving gifts over the allowable legal limit."

The school district will be discussing how to fill the vacant seat during the Feb. 9 board meeting.