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July 22, 2014

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Police search two CCSD offices in probe involving possible misuse of funds

Updated Thursday, March 20, 2014 | 5:34 p.m.

Metro Police today searched two Clark County School District offices as part of an investigation into the possible misuse of public funds.

Metro and CCSD Police are investigating the Adult English Language Acquisition Services Department. The investigation began in December, when the School District received a complaint about a possible misuse of public funds. The probe was expanded earlier this year to include Metro Police.

The department provides literacy and life skills classes to non-English-speaking parents of CCSD students. The program also provides free notary services, domestic violence referrals, GED referrals and continuing education referrals.

The department has a budget of $1.09 million, which is funded with state grants. It has 22 full-time and part-time employees, according to the district.

The department has been headed by director Priscilla Rocha since 2005. Rocha was assigned home Wednesday with pay, School District spokeswoman Melinda Malone said. She did not disclose the reason. Rocha is paid $106,260 a year, plus $2,300 in longevity pay, according to the district.

Police officers served search warrants at the department’s two offices around 10:30 a.m. The offices are at 4204 Channel 10 Drive and 3801 E. Washington Ave.

Police also are interviewing department employees, but a district official said she could not comment on how many had spoken with police.

The School District did not release any more information, citing a pending investigation. The district is fully cooperating with Metro Police in the investigation, officials said.

Kirsten Searer, School District spokeswoman, said the two offices are being shut down as the investigation continues. She anticipated classes would continue off-site.

“While this is an active, ongoing investigation, we will not tolerate the potential misuse of public funds,” Searer said in a statement. “We want to be open, transparent and accountable for every dollar entrusted to us by taxpayers.”

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