RIO VISTA — It started last November when an accountant with the River Delta School District in Rio Vista saw a coworker do something odd. It ended two weeks ago with the coworker losing her job and the district losing nearly $40,000.
A search warrant filed last week by a Rio Vista detective and an investigator with the Solano County District Attorney’s Office reflects the district’s former director of accounting, Marianne Zepeda, may have been embezzling money from the district for more than seven years.
Criminal charges have not been filed against Zepeda, but an investigation into the matter is ongoing, according to district superintendent Don Beno, who has been superintendent since July. Attempts to reach Zepeda by phone and through social media were not successful.
Circumstances surrounding a string of questionable checks – and what they were for – are detailed in the search warrant.
In November 2012, Zepeda’s coworker saw Zepeda issue a $5,100 check to a district contractor and noted the payment was for “developer fee payment.”
A few months later Zepeda, a district employee since 1995, issued herself a check for “comp time,” prompting the coworker to sit down with her boss, who decided to look over all the checks issued by the district in recent months. A $1,500 check to Zepeda with the note “CBO stipend” was recorded in district records as a payment to Pitney Bowes. Another check to Zepeda for $3,200 was recorded in district records as a paycheck to a part-time bus driver.
The dubious checks prompted an examination of all checks issued by the district during the past several years. More than a dozen checks, some for more than $3,000, were made out to Zepeda, who was one of only three district employees who could write checks for the district. The checks were recorded in district records as payments for other employees, vendors and contractors.
Police investigating Zepeda discovered she had more than six accounts at a Rio Vista bank into which some of the checks had been cashed or deposited, according to the search warrant.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.