Teachers at the Apple Valley Unified Teachers Association claim in a letter to other members that their former chapter president embezzled over $225,000 over the previous four years from their union. As a result, the Apple Valley Unified School District (AVUSD) informed the Daily Press that the AVUTA funds are not within its control but rather the union’s exclusive oversight. There had been “significant financial irregularities and improper association expenditures” for four years,” per the letter by AVUTA’s executive board.
This year’s financial woes, according to the AVUTA, can be traced back to “conduct of our former chapter president Kristy Croft,” who left her post in April.
Karen Sabers, the executive board’s choice to take Croft’s position, said in an April 5 letter that Croft was stepping down for “personal reasons.”
According to an AVUTA letter, the California Teachers Organization conducted a forensic audit and found $225,000 in financial irregularities, including “extensive personal use of association funds.” It was noted in the letter that AVUTA had “today, in accordance with our insurance policies,” handed the incident over to authorities for inquiry and prosecution.
All dues collected by AVUTA are protected and recovered via National Education Association insurance policies, which safeguard chapters in similar situations.
According to Sabers’ message to AVUTA members, “Since there is an ongoing investigation, at this time, I do not have any further comments than what is in the confidential statement to the AVUTA members.” Authorities from the sheriff’s office did not return phone calls or emails seeking comment on the event.