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MCCCD Board Awaits Investigation Results From Allegations Of Document Tampering

The Maricopa County Community College District governing board is awaiting results from an independent investigation into allegations of document tampering within their HR department.

The allegations came to light at the governing board’s Feb. 28 public meeting in a presentation from an employee group known as the Classified Staff Council.

Kristina Bliss, the group’s president, spoke about three concerns, the most serious being allegations of document tampering in a memorandum of understanding regarding the district’s reduction in force policy. During her February presentation, Bliss said the document her group recently found posted online was a version of the policy that employee group leaders had not ratified but included their signatures.

"It appears as though some effort was made to cut and paste signatures from one document to the other," she said. "But the language on which the signatures were affixed is not the language that the signers actually reviewed and therefore ratified."

Governing Board President Alfredo Gutierrez said in an interview Wednesday the board had no knowledge of the issue before the staff group’s presentation, adding a full independent investigation into the allegations is underway.

"The allegations were both administrative abuses as well as what might constitute felonies," he said. "So it was important that an independent body review those allegations."

Greenville, South Carolina-based labor and employment law firm Ogletree Deakins is conducting the investigation. Their report is expected in the next 10 days. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: KJZZ is licensed to Rio Salado College, one of the Maricopa County Community College District schools.

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Carrie Jung Senior Field Correspondent, Education Desk Carrie Jung began her public radio career in Albuquerque, N.M., where she fell in love with the diverse cultural scene and unique political environment of the Southwest. Jung has been heard on KJZZ since 2013 when she served as a regular contributor to the Fronteras Desk from KUNM Albuquerque. She covered several major stories there including New Mexico's Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage and Albuquerque's failed voter initiative to ban late-term abortions. Jung has also contributed stories about environmental and Native American issues to NPR's Morning Edition, PRI's The World, Al Jazeera America, WNYC's The Takeaway, and National Native News. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in marketing, both from Clemson University. When Jung isn't producing content for KJZZ she can usually be found buried beneath mounds of fabric and quilting supplies. She recently co-authored a book, "Sweet And Simple Sewing," with her mother and sister, who are fabric designers.