Auditor General’s 2023 Financial Investigations Report Reveals Some Disturbing Facts


On February 12, the Arizona Joint Legislative Audit Committee held a hearing to listen to reports from various entities.

As the name implies, this committee is charged with overseeing financial matters that affect tax payer dollars. It is part of their duties to look into questionable behavior by government agencies/employees.

It consists of twelve members, six from each chamber, and it is co-chaired by Sonny Borrelli (Senate) and Matt Gress (House).

As is often the case with these hearings, the main attraction was the report by the Arizona Auditor General.

This report was a presentation of the findings from financial investigations conducted in 2023.

These investigations uncovered more than $1.8 million in loses and 34 criminal charges against 5 individuals within Arizona State University, K-12 school districts, and the Department of Education. These are some of the highlights:

Arizona State University: There may have been a $124,093 embezzlement, mostly in connection with purchases for personal use using taxpayer dollars.

Hyder Elementary School District: There may have been a $7,417 embezzlement when an employee borrowed monies by issuing herself unauthorized District checks.

Gila Bend Unified School District: Two employees participated in unauthorized District credit card purchases totaling $1,476.

Department of Education: A Career and Technical Education Future Farmers of America (FFA) executive secretary may have opened a secret checking account with himself as the only signer and deposited therein $1,700,939 of Arizona Association FFA (AZFFA) monies that should have been deposited in a Department checking account.

It is expected that some legislation will be introduced to address these issues, as suggested by Committee member Senator Kern, but that is not likely to happen during this legislative session.

The full Auditor General report may be accessed by clicking HERE