Gilbert Police Department Investigation Report: Theft – Embezzlement – Felony

We know you’ve all been waiting for the final disposition regarding police reports filed by members of the Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board in 2014.

Read the complete police report about “Theft – Embezzlement – Felony” concerning two former Assistant Superintendents of Gilbert Public Schools, Shane McCord and Jeff Filloon.  The police report notes that GPD obtained a court order for employee records in this matter.

Both of these top-level Good Old Boys had contracts with an unusual provision for $2,000.00 to be paid for a special project that had “value to student learning or employee betterment.”  It appears that both top dogs took Steve Miller’s song to heart: “Take the money and run.”

We posted about the situation back in December 2013:

Assistant Superintendents have a really great deal for themselves in Gilbert Public Schools. They’re paid far too much for what they do, and their perks are truly gross when you realize that taxpayers are funding their profligate ways. The jerks who have broken the system continue to profit and party, while some support staff barely make a living wage (and we know some don’t make even that). BOTTOM LINE: Taxpayers are not getting their money’s worth from these folks.

The police report includes descriptions of Red Flags of Fraud. We had already posted online the Pay for Additional Work forms signed by Shane McCord and Jeff Filloon and approved by none other than the good old top GOB, Dave Allison.  As the police report shows, McCord submitted an old project he had done years before as part of his doctorate classes, and Filloon submitted an Exit Interview Report that was done by GPS Human Resources.

The key phrase to remember is “Pay for Additional Work.” Why is that important now? Because there are two line items in the 2015-2016 Budget Calendar for Gilbert Public Schools:

Stipends (Addition to contracts)  $1,143,532
Additional Assignments (Hourly) $   563,962

You, dear citizen, and members of the GPS Governing Board apparently are supposed to trust that those stipends and additional payments will go to employees who actually perform valuable work for the district. More of the same old stuff?  Yeah, and we’ve got a bridge to sell you.

Getting back to the police report, it includes Exhibit 11, which consists of 4 pages of confidentiality agreements, described as: “Each of these pages contains the various signatures of McCord and Filloon.” The police report shows that the signatures on the Pay for Additional Work forms “do not match the purported signatures of McCord and Filloon on the confidentiality agreements.” We’ve seen in the past that GPS had a problem with forgeries and it appears that the GOBs were at it again.

Another interesting entry is Exhibit 15: Transcript of the sworn deposition of David Allison regarding “A pattern and practice of systemic concealing routine GPS records in order to avoid producing those reports in response to public records requests made by citizens.” We’ve posted about that, too.

Notably, there were no administrative evaluations for Jeff Filloon from 2005 through 2012.  Those evaluations must be only for lesser beings, not the dude who was being groomed to be the top Human Resources honcho. Be sure to look at the rocket career of Shane McCord in the police report … he taught for two years, but seems to have a performance appraisal for only 2012-2013, the same year Jeff Filloon was evaluated.  Also notice that both poor, underpaid top dogs were given $3,384.00 for special projects during the school year 2013-2014. [Gag]

As for Dave Allison, he started with GPS in 1993 as an assistant superintendent and ascended to being top dog in 2008. Allison had a whole bunch of Employee Action Requests, but the police report redacted what they were about. Any chances Good Old Dave was collecting extra pay under this same scheme?

Good Old Dave (GOD?) and his civil lawsuit defense attorney Elizabeth Gilbert of the law firm Jones, Skelton & Hochuli were interviewed in the police station in April 2014. We had posted about Good Old Dave’s special contract provision and his get out of jail free card — looks like Dave knew what he was doing when he negotiated indemnity!

Dave also is indemnified against CRIMINAL CHARGES! He can have his own independent legal counsel when he and the board are co-defendants. Basically, Dave had and still has a blank check for misconduct as superintendent. No wonder he destroyed his files before he left! Anything he did, including covering his tracks, would not only be forgiven, he would be defended with taxpayers’ money. We all know how lawyers paid by risk trusts in Arizona can feather their own nests if and when a school board enables that kind of behavior.

Here are more astounding details from the police report that you can’t make up (as Dave Barry so famously says):

Mr. Allison told me … Shane and Jeff in terms of assistant superintendents like in other school districts (Chandler, Mesa, Higley) were pretty underpaid. That’s some one the cultures of the Gilbert School District … Jeff had come to me a year earlier and said, ‘is there something we can do for these guys? cause there working on their doctorate degree, their doctor of education and working full time for the district. Kinda burning a candle at both ends.’ Mr. Allison advised Jeff, he understood however, they took it upon themselves to work on their doctorate. Mr. Allison went on to say if there was something they were dong in their extra time that’s going to value the district, in otherwords part of their research doing for their doctorate degree is going to help the district he would include a stipend to their income in their contract for the school year. This was approved by the School Board under line “H” in the contract for Jeff Filloon and Shane McCord and is renewed on a yearly basis.  [sic]

…I asked Mr. Allison if it was okay that they were working on the same special project from the previous year and he stated it was because it takes several years to complete the doctorate. It is also normal to pay for the special project during the payperiod not upon completion of project.  [sic]

It gets worse, as things usually do in Gilbert Public Schools.  In May 2014, Shane McCord was interviewed again, and he basically said he didn’t do anything wrong:

Shane also pointed out that his contract that was signed by the Gilbert School Board authorized $2,000 stipends per year (line H of the contract). He also pointed out that it was not a requirement to have the form signed nor provide proof of work completed.

There you have it, GPS employees: the top dogs not only got raises disguised as stipends while your pay was frozen for five years, they didn’t have to prove they did the work they were supposed to do. Good Old Jeff Filloon also raised the specter of mass layoffs of employees by rewriting the RIF policy in April 2014, while the police were investigating his behavior and *special* payday deals. 

You know where this is going, don’t you?

Based upon the above information, it was determined Jeffrey Filloon, Shane McCord and Dave Allison committed no criminal act regarding this investigation. The merits of the contract approved by the Gilbert Public School Board were met based on this investigation. It was also determined there were no forged signatures based on the information gathered during the course of this investigation. This case will be cleared UNFOUNDED.

Well, with THAT kind of investigation, it’s no surprise that the final comment includes “MCAO DECLINED TO PROSECUTE.” Public policy be damned! The case came back from the Maricopa County Attorney’s office in September 2014, and the Gilbert Police Department decided:

After a review of this report, it was deemed that this case was a “Civil Matter-Not Criminal”

No charges will be filed on Jeffrey Filloon and Shane McCord.

We’ll take this *exoneration* for what it is: no criminal charges but certainly not a determination of innocence. Sure Jeff Filloon and Shane McCord didn’t take the taxpayers for a ride. [sarcasm]

What are the chances that Jeff Filloon in the Chandler School District and Shane McCord in the Mesa School District are doing the same old stuff?  Sure, they’re upstanding citizens and trustworthy stewards of the public purse. [dripping sarcasm]

Evidence is piling up about misuse of public funds and other wrongdoing by Gilbert Public Schools top dogs, regardless of whether it’s criminal conduct. The wheels of justice grind slowly, but we’ll be patient. We’ll continue to tie up loose ends as the year comes to an end. Chirp, chirp!

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