Morro Bay auto retailer instructor found for misusing funds

James bueno

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

The previous Morro Bay Excessive Faculty auto store instructor reportedly bought autos repaired by college students with out depositing funds from gross sales into a college account. [Tribune]

As well as, former automotive expertise instructor James Bueno used college membership funds to purchase automotive elements for private use, repeatedly spent extra on the automotive membership account than anticipated, and gave his mom a automotive. which was repaired utilizing college funds, in keeping with the findings of a non-public investigative agency.

After a decade on the Morro Bay Excessive campus which included six years as an automotive expertise instructor on the college, in addition to stints as a soccer and volleyball coach, Bueno resigned with severance pay of $ 48,000. His resignation took impact on November 30, 2020.

Morro Bay Excessive’s auto workshop program functioned as a membership moderately than a category. Nevertheless, the membership didn’t have officer cadets, as required by college laws. Bueno was the one officer.

Faculty principal Kyle Pruitt, who has been on paid go away since early December, accepted of Bueno’s embezzlement and will have pressured the Morro Bay Excessive membership’s accountant to ‘s’ occupies Mr. Bueno ”, point out investigative paperwork. When the auto store account ran out of funds, Pruitt reportedly advised the accountant to deal with Bueno and switch funds from the Related Pupil Physique’s normal account to make ends meet.

The investigation into the alleged embezzlement by Bueno befell from late September to early October. Attorneys for the San Luis Coast Unified Faculty District employed The SmithGroup, a non-public investigative agency, to analyze.

Among the many findings of the investigation, it was decided {that a} 2001 Volkswagen Beetle was donated to the college, repaired over the course of a 12 months, after which given to Bueno’s mom at no cost.

Bueno ultimately paid $ 2,000 out of his preliminary severance bundle of $ 50,000 to compensate college for the Beetle. But neither Bueno nor the college district admitted any wrongdoing associated to the alleged embezzlement.

Nevertheless, the San Luis Coast Faculty Board requested that the findings of the investigation be forwarded to the SLO district lawyer’s workplace to find out whether or not a felony prosecution can be applicable. Authorities have since referred the investigation to the Morro Bay Police Division.

In an interview, Bueno mentioned he was by no means correctly skilled in bookkeeping for the auto retailer and all the cash he obtained from promoting repaired automobiles went again into this system, even when the books did not point out it. Bueno mentioned he believes wholeheartedly that every thing he does places kids first, neighborhood first, and college first.

Morro Bay Excessive Principal Pruitt will return to his submit briefly in March earlier than being transferred to a educating submit, beginning in July.


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