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Scottsdale Unified School District Board OKs Agreement With AG Over Construction Projects

The Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) has reached an agreement with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office over two construction projects in the district.

“We’re pleased with what will hopefully be the resolution to that case,” said board President Barbara Perleberg before she directed further questions to the district’s general counsel Michelle Marshall.

Per the agreement, the district will create a new committee to evaluate the construction manager proposals to Cheyenne Traditional School on or by March 6.

A new committee will also re-evaluate construction manager proposals related to Hohokam Elementary School.

RELATED: Scottsdale Education Association President: New Acting Superintendent 'Signals Change'

“The agreement sets forth a number of protocols and procedures depending on the outcome of the new scoring committee,” said a statement from the district released Saturday night.

The agreement acknowledges that construction at Cheyenne is nearly complete at the school’s playgrounds, administration building, parking lots and science labs.

The district will, under the terms of the agreement, create a new committee with a licensed architect, a licensed contractor and an SUSD employee all who were not part of the original committee.

The architect on the original committee, Brian Robichaux, was allegedly un-licensed and unfairly influenced the selection process.

Chasse Building Team was originally selected as the construction manager. If they are re-selected they will continue overseeing the Cheyenne project. If they are not rated the highest by the new committee, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office will confer with the district to work out the terms of a settlement.

Representatives from the district and the Attorney General’s Office were unavailable to comment further Sunday.

The agreement does not preclude the Attorney General’s Office from further investigation or legal action against the district.

The Governing Board approved an agreement Friday night at about 10:30 p.m. after meeting in a closed executive session for almost six hours.

The attorney general claimed the Scottsdale school district broke state law in procuring services for the two school projects.

The Governing Board previously voted to stop construction at Hohokam Elementary and the district’s central kitchen.

In addition, Board Member Pam Kirby asked the board Friday to act on Superintendent Denise Birdwell and Chief Operating Officer Louis Hartwell’s contracts at a March 20 meeting.

Both have been placed on administrative leave. The board named administrator Amy Fuller acting superintendent.

Mariana Dale rustles up stories as a senior field correspondent based out of KJZZ’s East Valley Bureau in Tempe. She’s followed a microphone onto cattle ranches, to the Dominican Republic and many places in between. Dale believes in a story’s strength to introduce us to diverse perspectives, inspire curiosity and hold public leaders accountable for their actions. She started at KJZZ on the digital team in 2016 and still spends a lot of time thinking about how to engage with our community online. Dale has learned from stints at Arizona Public Media, The Arizona Daily Star, The Arizona Republic and as an intern at NPR’s Morning Edition in Culver City. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Dale is grateful for the mentoring of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, the Chips Quinn Scholars program and AIR’s New Voices Scholars. A desert native, she loves spending time outside hiking, tending to her cactus and reading.