Arizona attorney general to investigate district pay raises


MESA, Ariz. (AP) — A former Arizona school board president has filed a complaint prompting a potential criminal investigation into pay raises given to school district executives.

Former president Ben Smith asked the Arizona Attorney General's Office to investigate after claiming former Mesa Public Schools Superintendent Ember Conley awarded staff with bonuses higher than approved amounts.

Board officials say Conley was placed on paid administrative leave Nov. 18 without a public reason.

Officials say they could permanently remove Conley costing the district hundreds of thousands of dollars in payouts required in her contract.

Officials say Conley served half of her three-year contract.

Conley could not immediately be reached for comment.

Attorney General's Office spokesman Ryan Anderson says the complaint is currently under review.

District spokeswoman Heidi Hurst said the raises comply with state law.