PCC seeks public's help with shaky finances

2013-11-14T17:15:00Z 2013-11-14T19:37:07Z PCC seeks public's help with shaky financesBy Carol Ann Alaimo ARIZONA DAILY STAR Arizona Daily Star

A senior executive who has overseen a string of financial misdeeds at Pima Community College is seeking the public’s help to keep a closer eye on the bottom line.

David Bea, PCC’s executive vice chancellor for finance and administration, plans to set up a committee mainly of community volunteers who will weigh in on the school’s spending and other financial practices.

A lack of integrity and transparency in finance matters was part of the reason PCC was placed on probation by its accreditor earlier this year. Officials are pledging to do better as part of the school’s bid to get off probation by 2015.

The finance and audit committee will have seven members: two from PCC’s Governing Board and five from outside the college with professional experience in areas such as accounting, auditing and investments. T

he board approved the concept Wednesday.

The committee would meet at least four times a year to go over virtually every aspect of financial operations.

The group also will have the power to order investigations into complaints of questionable accounting, ethics violations, fraud and other illegal activity. Would-be volunteers are asked to submit a cover letter and résumé to financeadmin@pima.edu by Dec. 13.

Bea, a key figure in past improprieties under former Chancellor Roy Flores, will serve as an ex-officio member of the group.

Bea was hired as PCC’s finance boss in 2006 with no experience as a chief financial officer. He now makes more than $189,000 a year. He and other college executives knowingly signed off on several corrupt no-bid contracts that broke PCC purchasing rules and cost taxpayers hundred of thousands of dollars, the accreditor found.

Bea also failed to let the public know about a $2 million payment the college made in 2007 to settle federal claims that PCC wrongly awarded millions in financial aid, the accreditor said.

Reporter Carol Ann Alaimo can be reached at 573-4138 or at calaimo@azstarnet.com

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