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Judge Rules In Favor Of Former Scottsdale Administrator Facing Criminal Charges

A top administrator in the Scottsdale Unified School District resigned amid an investigation into a conflict of interest.

While Laura Smith was the chief financial officer at the Scottsdale district, she signed off on paperwork related to a consulting firm she had a stake in with her sister.

She was later indicted and plead not guilty to fraud and conflict of interest charges.

Judge Frank W. Moskowitz ruled the charges be remanded because the state withheld evidence. 

For the case to go forward, the state will have to bring forward new evidence to a grand jury.

"It feels wonderful, it absolutely does," Smith told 3 TV/CBS 5. "I think truth has prevailed."

Smith was one of several top administrators, including the superintendent, who left the district last year amid investigations into procurement practices.

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.