Back in September, Poway Unified School District Superintendent John Collins announced that the district had hired a forensic accountant and former FBI official to examine its bond program.

The district wants to ensure that its staff has acted responsibly and with integrity, Collins said. Poway’s bond program has come under intense scrutiny since a Voice of San Diego story outlined that local taxpayers will have to pay back almost $1 billion on a $105 million loan.

The investigative report should be released at a meeting of the Poway Board of Trustees next Tuesday, board member Todd Gutschow told me Friday.

The investigative report is listed as an item on the agenda for next week’s meeting. Gutschow said he’s going to request that the board holds a second special meeting just to discuss the report. He expects that meeting would take place within a week or so of the report being made public, he said.

“I would like the public and the board to have some time to digest the report,” Gutschow said. “Then we can meet to discuss how to improve our process going forward so we can avoid some of these problems in the future.”

Not much is known about the report itself or the company that’s conducting it, ESI International. Poway has refused to provide any information about the investigation and wouldn’t provide Voice of San Diego with a copy of the district’s contract with the company.

I’ll be reading through the report very carefully next week and will be updating this blog once I’ve gotten to grips with it.

Will Carless is an investigative reporter at Voice of San Diego currently focused on local education. You can reach him at or 619.550.5670.

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Disclosure: Voice of San Diego members and supporters may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover. For a complete list of our contributors, click here.

Will Carless

Will Carless was formerly the head of investigations at Voice of San Diego.

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