CCUSD enters into consent agreement over election violations

By Linda Bentley | December 17, 2008

CCUSD – During the Dec. 9 meeting, the Cave Creek Unified School District Governing Board authorized Attorney Jill Osborne to enter into a consent agreement, on behalf of CCUSD, with Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas regarding the use of school district resources to influence the outcome of an election, in violation of A.R.S. § 15-511.

The consent agreement addressed the district’s posting of documents on its website advocating passage of the 2006 budget override and bond elections.

As part of the agreement, CCUSD agreed to remove those materials from its website. The agreement also requires all governing board members and the superintendent to attend a training class conducted by Maricopa County Elections Department on permitted and restricted political activities.

Newly elected or appointed school district governing board members will also be required to attend such a training class.

CCUSD must notify the county attorney when all have completed the training.

If CCUSD fails to comply with the requirements or restrictions imposed by the consent agreement, the district would become liable in a civil action for civil penalties of up to $500 for each violation plus any amount of misused funds subtracted from the school district’s budget.

The person determined to be in violation would be responsible for the payment of all penalties and misused funds.

Statute prohibits the use of school district funds or insurance money to pay penalties or repay misused funds, which are subsequently returned to the district.