MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Mesa Public Schools Governing Board voted to approve Superintendent Dr. Ember Conley's resignation. The vote came during a special board meeting on Monday night.

Dr. Conley was previously placed on non-disciplinary paid administrative leave by the board on Nov. 18. No reason was ever given on why she was placed on leave.

[WATCH: Mesa Public Schools superintendent resigns]

Shortly after, Arizona's Family learned a former member of the Mesa Public Schools Governing Board filed a criminal complaint accusing Dr. Conley of theft and embezzlement.

[RELATED: Criminal complaint filed against Mesa school chief]

Ben Smith, who served on the board from 2014 until 2018, submitted the complaint with the Arizona Attorney General's Office in late November. He claims that top administrators received larger pay raises than the Governing Board had approved.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Mesa Public Schools votes to place superintendent Ember Conley on paid leave]

"An internal and anonymous source shared that the raises, intended to be $5,000, approved by the Board in June of 2019, were, in fact, drastically higher than approved," Smith wrote in his three-page complaint.

In addition, Smith claims that contracts approved in March were "executed with salaries higher than were approved on the contracts."

No board members commented on the criminal complaint, but the district issued a statement that reads in part, "It is standard district procedure that due to the timing of the legislative budget process, contracts are issued and then adjusted based on the Board-approved compensation plan."

[RELATED: Firing superintendent would be extremely costly for Mesa Public Schools]

Conley joined the school district in 2018. She worked in the Maricopa School District for several years and was superintendent at a school district in Utah before joining Mesa Public Schools.

The Governing Board voted to place Dr. Pete Lesar as interim superintendent.

 


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