TMCC President No Longer Finalist For Arizona Job After Questions Over Palm Desert College Fraud

Ann McClure's picture

An Arizona college’s search for a new chancellor has been postponed after it found TMCC President Maria Sheehan — a top-two finalist for the job — was the chief executive of a California community college district during a seven-year period of fraud there, according to Pima Community College’s search advisory committee.

Beginning during Sheehan’s term as chief executive of the Desert Community College District in Palm Desert, Calif. in 2003-04 until two years after she retired from the position in 2009-10, the district “improperly and knowingly claimed excess state apportionment funding,” according to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

An “Extraordinary Audit” conducted in November 2012 by the state’s Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team revealed the district was overpaid $5.2 million during that period and that the state would collect it in full.

Sheehan was named Truckee Meadows Community College president in June 2008 after she retired the year before from the position in California. Last week, Sheehan was named a top-two finalist for the chancellor position of Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz., which has a campus enrollment of 30,000.

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