MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A former member of the Mesa Public Schools Governing Board filed a criminal complaint late last week accusing Superintendent Dr. Ember Conley of theft and embezzlement.

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

[WATCH: The man behind the complaint]

"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."

The criminal complaint came days after the current Board voted to place Conley on paid administrative leave just 18 months into her three-year contract.

The Board has remained tight-lipped about the circumstances leading to its decision, but the formal complaint could trigger the Arizona Attorney General's Office to launch an official investigation.

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

"We are aware of the allegations involving Mesa Public Schools and are reviewing specific complaints made to our office. Additional information will be provided when available," a spokeswoman for the AG's office said Monday.

The Mesa Public Schools Governing Board plans to meet on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, 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."

Conley was unavailable for comment.

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


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