After months of delay, Pima Community College has a new citizens committee to keep watch over its once-lax financial practices.
A retired federal Treasury investigator and a former auditor with the U.S. General Accounting Office are among the members of the school’s new finance and audit advisory committee.
Pima’s Governing Board gave the go-ahead this week to install the new volunteer overseers. Most have far more experience than PCC finance chief David Bea, who took part in past procurement violations at the college and remains in charge of its coffers.
Also on the committee is Bert Landau, a finance boss at PCC in the 1970s and at the University of Arizona in the 1980s.
The other seven members are:
Jesus Manzanedo, a supervisor in Pima County’s financial management and audit division.
Marie Nemerguth, retired program director for budget and internal audit at the city of Tucson.
Tracy Nuckolls, retired chief legal officer for Tucson Medical Center.
Suzanne Roelike, office manager for St. Rita in the Desert Catholic Church.
William Schirmer, retired U.S. Treasury Department investigator.
Nathanael Tarwasokono, president and CEO of Pima Federal Credit Union, who will chair the group.
Clarence Vatne, retired CEO of Marana Health Center and former auditor with the U.S. General Accounting Office.
Bea proposed the new watchdog group in November, then took six months to set it up. At the time, he was job-hunting elsewhere but ended up staying at PCC when the board recently renewed his $189,000 contract for another year.
Bea had no experience as a CFO when he was hired for the post in 2006 by former Chancellor Roy Flores.
An accreditor’s investigation that caused PCC to be put on probation last year found Bea knowingly violated college policy by signing off on hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of unbid contracts at Flores’ behest.
One of Flores’ boyhood friends received more than $300,000 of unbid consulting work as a result.
A recent state audit found PCC’s contracting practices have improved since the violations came to light.
Two Governing Board members also are part of the new group: Sylvia Lee, newly elected last year, and Scott Stewart, one of four Flores-era members whom the accreditor faulted for shirking their oversight duties.