Longtime Oakdale Joint Unified School District Food Services Director Raymond Martinez abruptly resigned his position, effective Aug. 2 amidst allegations of possible theft, misappropriation of district property, and embezzlement of public funds.
Earlier this year, the OJUSD initiated an audit into the petty cash fund of the Food Services Department concerning questions of inconsistencies regarding the record keeping for the account.
According to District Superintendent Marc Malone, the audit confirmed the possibility of misappropriation of funds and a full financial audit of the entire food services department was conducted.
The more in-depth audit covered open purchase orders of the department, revealing “purchases of a questionable nature” by Martinez. Malone would not expand on what those purchases were, however, a source close to the matter stated some of the items consisted of home electronics and power tools.
An “open” purchase order is issued to a vendor for specified purchases that may be made for a specified period of time. When repeated purchases of the same type of supply items are expected, submitting one purchase order to establish a standing one, eliminates the need for multiple purchase requisitions. The order acts as a contract to buy and contains specific price, quantity, payment and delivery terms.
Standing open purchase orders are generally issued by school districts for supply type items and services.
Upon discovery of the inconsistencies and possible theft, the school district contacted the Oakdale Police Department and made a report on July 11 naming Martinez as the suspect.
Martinez, 45, who was off on a medical leave at the time, was not interviewed by district staff about the matter until he returned to work on Aug. 2.
“When we brought him in he had no real explanation,” said Malone. “He admitted some of the items were at his home and that he had ‘borrowed’ them.”
Malone said Martinez returned the items that were stored at his house the next day.
“When we told him he was going to be put on administrative leave and we (the district) were going to move forward with termination proceedings per the collective bargaining agreement, Ray chose to resign,” said Malone.
Oakdale Police Detective Brian Shimmel said his office has received the embezzlement case for some additional investigation and that it names Martinez as the suspect of the investigation. He said he expects further action by the district attorney’s office in the future.
Shimmel said the reported loss to the school district was approximately $20,000.
Martinez has not provided a statement to police regarding their investigation and could not be reached by The Leader for comment.
Martinez was with Oakdale Joint Unified School District for 11 years. His annual salary at the time of his resignation was $71,500.