Call for resignation of Murphy board president comes amid district's money woes

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Richard Polanco, president of the Murphy School District Governing Board (Source: MSDAZ.org) Richard Polanco, president of the Murphy School District Governing Board (Source: MSDAZ.org)
'I think this guy cares little about the district. He's power hungry,' Bob Donofrio of the Murphy Community Coalition, said of Polanco. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) 'I think this guy cares little about the district. He's power hungry,' Bob Donofrio of the Murphy Community Coalition, said of Polanco. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Feb. 10 letter sent to Polanco; Click to enlarge (Source: Bob Donofrio, Murphy Community Coalition) Feb. 10 letter sent to Polanco; Click to enlarge (Source: Bob Donofrio, Murphy Community Coalition)
Click to enlarge Polanco's email response to Arizona's Family (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Click to enlarge Polanco's email response to Arizona's Family (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Murphy Elementary School District is facing financial collapse. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Murphy Elementary School District is facing financial collapse. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A community group is getting ready to publicly demand the resignation of a board member with the Murphy Elementary School District.

Bob Donofrio with the Murphy Community Coalition provided a copy of the Feb. 10 letter issued to governing board president Richard Polanco with a list of allegations against the district leader.

The first item in the letter alleges Polanco showed pictures of his girlfriend “masturbating” to “several Murphy employees.” 

“I think it's disgusting,” says Donofrio. “I think this guy cares little about the district. He's power hungry.”

[APP USERS: Click here to see the letter sent to Polanco]

Donofrio claims the allegation comes from a former employee who could not be reached Monday because he’s out of the country. According to Donofrio, the incident involving explicit materials happened last summer.

The Feb. 10 letter calls on Polanco to resign and goes on to accuse him of stealing a “federal USDA refrigerator milk container” and violating open meeting laws by refusing to let some people speak at public board meetings.

The allegations come as the Murphy Elementary School District faces financial collapse. 

[RELATED: Teachers in Phoenix take three-day weekend to protest pay cuts]

The district is more than $2 million over budget and is on track to run out of money in March. The state may have to take control of financial decisions to restore the district.

Donofrio claims Polanco is part of the problem.

“The district was on a path for financial ruin and lo and behold that's where it's at today,” Donofrio said.

Polanco refused an on-camera interview Monday but commented on each allegation in an email.

“I have never shown explicit pictures to anybody. That especially holds true with any Murphy School District employees and community members on school grounds or off,” reads the statement from Polanco.

[APP USERS: Click here to see Polanco's email to Arizona's Family]

 Polanco fired back at claims he stole a refrigerator belonging to the school.

“The milk container was leaking daily to the point where employees were covering the floor with towels, so no one would trip and fall. I notified all the proper authorities that I had a truck big enough to remove the unit and store it until the unit could be disposed of properly by the school,” read Polanco’s email response. “Once the situation regarding the container was brought up it was immediately returned to the school district in the exact same shape it was removed.”

 As for accusations Polanco violated open meeting laws, Polanco said the matter must be addressed by the school board attorney.

The Murphy Community Coalition plans to release more details in a Wednesday press conference on why it believes Polanco must resign.


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