Long-time Oakdale Joint Unified School District Food Services Director Raymond Martinez has abruptly resigned his position, effective Aug 2 amidst allegations of 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 of the record keeping for the account.
According to Superintendent Marc Malone, the audit confirmed the possibility of misappropriation of funds and a full financial audit of the 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.
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 (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 Shimmel said the reported loss by the school district was approximately $20,000.
Look for the full story in the Aug. 10 edition of The Oakdale Leader.